Canceled tournament costing local high school coach big money

Canceled tournament costing local high school coach big money

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by DIANNE GALLAGHER / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @DianneG

WCNC.com

Posted on December 19, 2012 at 6:54 AM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 19 at 6:58 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Olympic High School Trojans were supposed to fly out next week for the Gulfshore Invitational tournament in Naples, Florida. Instead, the team is scrambling to find opponents to play over winter break -- and Coach Ty Baumgardner is scrambling to find a way to erase the $8,100 in charges on his credit card for plane tickets.

Baumgardner received an email Friday from The Gulfshore Invitational promoters stating the tournament had been canceled.

"You've got to be kidding me," said Baumgardner. "Nine days before we are supposed to leave? The players are heartbroken. This will be the first time Olympic hasn't played a Winter Tournament since I've been here."

The Gulfshore Invitational included nearly 20 ranked teams from all over the country and Canada. Players were supposed to get a chance to play in front of college coaches and scouts. Tournament officials had promised to cover up to $10,000 in travel costs, plus pay for food, hotel rooms and ground transportation while the team was in Florida.

Hoping to get a good deal, Baumgardner purchased the team's airfare well in advance.

"It was the only thing we purchased, because we were under the assumption we would be fully reimbursed for travel," explained Baumgardner. "It cost me $8,100 for 20 tickets there and back."

The coach charged the tickets to his own credit card.

"It's a bad time for this to happen. Really bad timing," he said.

NBC Charlotte tried contacting the promoter, but his voicemail box was full. He also did not respond to our emails.

Baumgardner is hoping US Airways will have mercy on his story. NBC Charlotte contacted the airline and a representative said they were upset with the promoters for putting the airline -- and the team -- in this position. US Airways added it is now looking into the situation.

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