Suppose you organized a party then didn't rate an invite. Kind of embarrassing, right?
That's the dilemma the Nova Scotia Agricultural College (NSAC) found itself in earlier this week.
The NSAC, in case you hadn't heard, is hosting the eight-team Canadian Colleges Athletic Association men's basketball championship March 15 to 17 in Bible Hill.
It's sure to be an excellent tournament with top-notch teams from across the country, including the champion of the Atlantic Colleges Athletic Association (ACAA).
Unfortunately, the hometown Rams won't win the Atlantic title. With an abysmal 2-19 record, they didn't even come close to qualifying for the playoffs.
But as hosts they could still be considered for the ACAA's second entry at nationals and therein was the dilemma.
All season long the Rams played their hearts out and all season long the results - loss after loss - were pretty much the same. Sometimes the losses were reasonably close. Sometimes they were not close at all. Three mid-season pickups helped somewhat but not enough.
In the end, NSAC athletic director Judy Smith was faced with a no-win situation.
On the one hand, she could accept the host berth privilege and run the very real risk of watching the Rams get pounded by the opposition, even after the visitors made liberal use of their bench players.
On the other, she could opt out and allow the ACAA runners-up to represent the conference, a decision which, no doubt, would be greeted with much disappointment by the Rams players and coaches and which could negatively affect ticket sales.
In the end, Smith opted for the latter and we believe, on balance, it was the right, albeit unpopular, decision.
There was never a guarantee the Rams would be in the field simply because they were hosts. Nor should there be.
We believe, host or not, participation must be earned and clearly, in this case, it wasn't. To have made any other decision would have been disrespectful to more deserving ACAA teams and cheapened the quality of the tournament.