The Harrison County Recreation Board has voted to not allow women to play in this year’s church basketball league.
According to Recreation Director Rick Chasteen, the basketball league was meant to only include men due to several factors including safety.
“I have never had a lady play in the men’s basketball league in my four years here,” said Chasteen. “We have some big men playing and safety is an issue.”
Chasteen also said the board would be subjecting itself to the possibility of sexual harassment complaints by allowing women on the court.
“There is the possibility that a woman would be touched by accident while on the court and she take it offensively,” said Chasteen. “I don’t see the need to take that risk.”
Board member Missy Lutz disagreed with Chasteen’s decision to not allow people to play based solely on their gender or size.
“It was not advertised as a men’s only league,” said Lutz. “It was based solely on her gender. As for it being a safety issue, are you going to tell some 90 pound man he can’t play since he might get hurt playing with bigger men? Players know the risk before they walk onto the court.”
Lutz also pointed out that several co-ed leagues are present in other counties without there ever being an issue.
“Basing it on someone’s sex should never be brought up,” said Lutz. “I understand that the NCAA and NBA keep men and women apart, but where are woman going to play if we don’t allow them to. This is church league not the pros.”
A motion was made by Harrison County Judge-Executive Alex Barnett to allow women to play in the church basketball league since there was nowhere else for them to play.
Mayor Steve Moses, Brian Williams, Dale Duckworth and Leroy Roberts voted against the motion. Voting with Lutz and Barnett was Dr. Bill Faulkner.
Also discussed was the need to transfer all recreational duties and money to the new Parks and Recreation committee.
Cynthiana Attorney John Lair and Harrison County Attorney Bradley Vaughn informed the board that all equipment could be turned over to the new Parks and Recreation if they agree to.
A motion was made to dissolve the board and to terminate all current employees effective March 1. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.
The attorneys also agreed that an audit of all Recreation Board money should be conducted before the transfer is complete.
As of Jan. 17, the Harrison County Recreation Board reported that $6,000 was in the checking account and 22 cents was in the savings account.