Kent director of athletics Laing Kennedy confirmed on

By Allen Moff Record-Courier staff writer Published:

Kent director of athletics Laing Kennedy confirmed on Tuesday that new MAC commissioner Rick Chryst has a proposed change in the 1999-2000 basketball schedule on the table. Chryst's version would have each team play every other team in its division twice.

The original 1999-2000 schedule, formulated before Chryst took over as commissioner on May 11, had the Zips and Golden Flashes playing just once _ in Kent on Jan. 26.

That didn't sit well with officials from either school, including Kennedy.

"I support the change," said Kennedy. "It would accomplish the goal of having teams play home and away games with each team in its division and some cross-division games. It would prove the conference is completely committed to a true division format, which I strongly support.

"The problem is, this is all happening about six months too late. We shouldn't be sitting around on Aug. 23 trying to figure out who we're going to play in Jan."

Chryst's late appointment to the commissioner's post put him in a precarious position, as he's been forced to tackle major issues literally in the days leading up to the beginning of the 1999-2000 campaign.

For instance, the MAC didn't have a television contract for the upcoming football season until last week.

"I give Chryst his due," said Kennedy, "because we had a conversation last month and, when we discussed the problems the MAC faces, I put scheduling at or near the top of the list."

Kennedy said he won't officially support the schedule changes suggested by Chryst until he's able to talk it over with Kent men's basketball coach Gary Waters, who will return from a trip to Europe with his team on Sunday.

"I'll hold off until Gary comes back, but I like it much better than the current schedule. It includes an attractive television opportunity for us," he said. "But it's far from being finalized.

"It's all in the fax machines at this point."

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