In a hard hitting letter released to the press by Mr Shatrughan Gokhale, Secretary of the Nagpur District Basketball Association, ten district associations from Vidharbha region have joined hands to start a drive against officials of the Maharashtra State Basketball Association (MSBA). The letter alleges widespread irregularities in the functioning of the MSBA, and raises questions as to the sanctity of the appointments within the MSBA, financial irregularities, mismanagement and opaque selection policies. The letter states that 10-15 other District Associations will also join the protest and will lodge a complaint with the Basketball Federation of India as well as other relevant authorities. It remains to be seen whether this large scale movement will in anyway affect the conduct of the ongoing 41st Sub-Junior National Basketball Championship that is underway in Nasik from 22nd to 28th November 2014.

Here are the contents of this email:

Irregularities, mis communication, misuse of power and players’ anguish against the Maharashtra State Basketball Association (MSBA) forced secretaries of various district associations in Vidarbha to join hands and start a drive to get rid of officials sitting quietly on the chair even after the expiry of their four-year term of the ruling state body.
On April 10, 2014, the four-year term of current MSBA officials came to an end while the ruling body conducted just a single AGM last year (2013).

Managing committee meetings of MSBA which should have been held at least six-times in a year were conducted just twice in its four year of existence. That means out of the 24 required managing committee meetings these MSBA officials conducted just two meetings. A managing committee meeting is required to decide and conduct the state championships in various age categories, to appoint selection committee and coaches for the national championships, to maintain and pass the regular accounts of association, to discuss and decide on the grievances of players, coaches and various districts and many similar issues.With just two managing committee meetings in its four-year term the MSBA failed to perform the basic responsibility required to run any association.

These irregularities forced all of us (10 Districts. Nagpur, Bhandara, Gondia, Gadchiroli, Wardha, Amravati, Yoetmal, Washim, Akola, Buldhana) to join hands and in 2-3 days around 10-15 more district associations will join this drive. Soon we will submit a memorandum to the Basketball Federation of India (BFI), Maharashtra Olympic Association (MOA) and Director of Sports, Pune, requesting them to conduct fresh elections for the betterment of Maharashtra Basketball.

Our decision to start this drive now is because all the state tournaments being conducted under the banner of MSBA after its term expired in April are unauthorized. Being an affiliated unit we do not have a choice but to play in these unauthorized championships. If we do not participate then our players will be at loss. With no choice left we all decided to start this drive.

In addition to the unauthorized tournaments we would like to highlight the following irregularities in the day to day functioning of the MSBA during their term:1.    As per clause no 28 of the Constitution which mentions that “the committee shall meet at least six times during a year. Whereas only two Managing committee meetings were held in the entire tenure of 4 years of the committee, instead of minimum of 24 meetings.
2.    Annual General Body meeting is mandatory for the association in a year. Annual means it is mandatory that atleast one AGM should have been held every year. But just one AGM held in the entire tenure of present managing committee.
3.    The Tenure of the Managing Committee expired on 10th April 2014. After the 7 months and few days of the expiry of the managing committee no efforts were made by the committee to conduct the fresh elections. Now that the tenure of this managing committee expired on 10th April 2014, this managing committee has no right to continue in the office and transact the affairs of MSBA.
4.    During its regular tenure and even after the expiry of its tenure no regular managing committee meetings were held and neither managing committee members nor the District associations knew about the decisions made by the association.
5.    Neither Managing Committee members nor District associations are being consulted before taking major decisions like conduction of State Championships, appointment of selection committee members, appointment of various coaches etc.
6.    No efforts were made to avail the State Government Grant which is Rs 8 to 10 lakh per year. In its four-year MSBA lost an approximate amount of Rs 30-40 lakh.
7.    No proper scheduling of tournaments   
a) District associations getting the information of state tournament late which eventually resulted in players travelling without reservation.
b) Less participation of district associations in state tournaments.
c) No proper lodging, boarding facility provided at State tournaments.
d) In state meet, some district associations were allotted rooms in hotel while some were accommodated in schools.
e) In the name of bedding just a Mat and water bucket was provided.
f) No arrangement for food, even sometimes tap water was provided. Resulting in bad health of players.
g) Distribution of railway concession forms limited to some districts. A deliberate act of less participation in state tourney.
8.    Secretary of MSBA is out of reach of almost all the district secretaries. Even managing committee members had no access/contact with secretary.
9.    Forget organizing the state tournament, Secretary MSBA has not attended a single State Championship in his tenure. His presence in probably one or two state championships was limited to a few hours.
10.    Most of the time Maharashtra teams travelled in unreserved compartments and players were made to suffer a lot. Despite the announcement of national championship dates 3-4 months in advance by the BFI, this was the regular scene with MSBA. They used to book railway tickets of Maharashtra teams on an average 20-25 days before the Nationals.
11.    Since it is difficult to raise a question on selections of state teams but with no managing committee meetings, a few questions arise…. Who decides, How it is decided and When was the selection committee finalized?
Shatrughan Gokhale
Nagpur District Basketball Association 


Gopalakrishnan R
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