The Naples Daily News has obtained an email sent to a North Carolina coach whose team was set to play in the GulfShore invite. The events creator Alex Getta basically explains a sponsor has dropped out and the money teams were going to receive is significantly less.
Here is the email to Ty Baumgardner, the Head Men's Basketball Coach at Olympic High School, who is out $8,100 for airline tickets he paid for to bring his team to the Naples event.
Date: December 14, 2012, 6:02:21 AM EST
To: Ty Baumgardner
Subject: Re: GulfShore Invitational Better News
Reply-To: Coach Getta
Over the past 10 hours we have been working with a major sponsor that heard of our unfortunate news and has graciously decided to step in as the title sponsor, so this amazing event can continue. A true blessing.
That being said, the funding amount available for each team now has altered and we ask you to see if the below financial contribution to your program will allow you to continue to partake. We obviously understand this is not the ideal amount or situation but we are presenting an option to make this happen for all, especially for the kids.
We are able to provide a financial contribution for travel reimbursement of $5,000.
We are still able to provide full meals to the players and staff for lunch & dinner.
We are still able to provide any operational expenses related to this event.
We are unable to provide the full accommodation expense but are able to assist to that expense with a financial contribution amount of $1,000. We have secured a group rate for your 8 rooms @ $89 per night includingbreakfast.
We are unable to provide for ground transportation but we have secured a group rate for a 15-Passenger Travel van @ $899 or standard Mini-Vans as well.
I truly hope this last financial effort will make it possible for you to continue to take part. We completely understand if this amount will not allow your program to take part, and will continue to work with you to assist in thattransition.
If these financial reimbursements DO work, please let me know immediately as that is our only goal. We will continue with our event at these figures and wish nothing more then your program to continue with us as well on Dec27th-31st.
I thank all the coaches in advance, that I have spoken to and shown there support in still taking part.
Please let me know if you are still able to take part immediately as we truly hope you are, or if you have any further comments.
Despite reports to the contrary, Gulfshore Invitational creator Alexander Getta, president of Getta Sports, said via an e-mail to the Daily News early Friday morning the tournament scheduled for Dec. 27-31 at the Community School will happen.
"As of this moment the tournament is not cancelled, just adjusted!" Getta wrote.
Community School athletics director Cassie Barone said Friday morning that she started hearing about the possible cancellation through various sources in the wee hours of the morning.
"I'm like, 'Oh, that would be nice to know,'" Barone said. "That's all I know."
Getta returned an email to Barone later Friday morning saying the same thing he emailed to the Daily News with this caveat, "Never the less, we appreciate your time and efforts made over the last week."
Barone said she didn't respond and Getta has until 5 p.m. Friday to finalize the rental agreement, something she said, "We've been really on them to finalize." If it's not finalized by then, Barone said Community School won't host the event regardless.
"If it's not signed, sealed and delivered by then, there's no way we can do it," Barone said.
Barone said Community School can't cancel the event, only retract on an oral agreement that, thus far, has not been followed up with a written, finalized contract. But she said there is no sanctioning through the Florida High School Activities Association through Community School because the rental agreement has not been finished.
"There are two main ways to sanction an event," Barone said. "One is if Community School is sponsoring an event, if Community School athletic director CassieBarone is contacting athletic director So and So, inviting their school. That's one sanctioning.
"Another sanctioning is if a third party is running the tournament, and that's what this sanctioning was. A third party was running the tournament. ... I'm not inviting a single school. Now I'm still responsible to make sure the paperwork's in, we're following the rules. There's still some responsibility from us, but not nearly as if it was Cassie Barone inviting schools."
Barone, who has been at Community School for six years, three as AD, said to her knowledge this is the first time a third-party high school tourney had been planned at CSN.
Jason Hickman of Maxpreps.com, a national website centered on preps sports, tweeted late Thursday night that he, "Received word that GulfShore Invitational has been canceled (sq). Massive disappointment for a whole bunch of very good teams."
And this: "GulfShore development is shocking considering they just put out major announcement last week. Going to be a lot of ticked off coaches."
The Gulfshore, until this year called a Shootout rather than Invitational, was started in 1996 by then-Barron Collier and current Golden Gate coach Joe Consolino.
The tournament began falling on hard financial times in 2010 when nine of the 16 teams were from Southwest Florida.
In May, Consolino told the Daily News the tournament was expanding into a national one and that a then-unnamed incoming Golden Gate assistant would spur the ambitious initiative.
That turned out to be Getta.
The site was moved from Golden Gate, where it had been played since 2004, to Community School, which is more centrally located and has larger facilities.
Just a week ago, Getta and company unveiled the 14-team sanctioned draw that was to include three ESPN nationally ranked teams -- No. 2 Montverde Academy, which is near Orlando, No. 13 Newark (N.J.)-St. Benedicts and No. 20 Hyattsville (Md.)-DeMatha. The announced field included 18 of ESPN's top 100 players.
The News-Press, citing Hickman's tweets and Monteverde Academy coach Kevin Boyle, has reported that the Invitational is cancelled.
Stay tuned as the Daily News continues to follow this developing story.
The recently revamped Gulfshore Invitational has been cancelled, according to a report on MaxPreps.com, a nationwide website for high school sports.
"Received word that GulfShore Invitational has been canceled. Massive disappointment for a whole bunch of very good programs," Jason Hickman, a high school basketball recruiting reporter, tweeted Thursday night.
Organizers announced earlier this month an elite field that would rival next week's City of Palms high school tournament that would keep many teams in Southwest Florida for two weeks.
The tournament was to be held Dec. 27-31 at Community School and was to feature three teams currently ranked in the top 20 nationally by ESPN and 18 players who are ranked among the top 100 in their class.
The Gulfshore Invitational website says it's under construction.
Check back to naplesnews.com for more on this story.
POSTED ON DEC. 6, 2012
When organizers announced plans this summer to revamp the Gulfshore Shootout, a holiday basketball tournament in Naples for nearly two decades, they promised to bring in some of the top teams in the country.
Tournament officials delivered on their promise and have compiled a field of highly-ranked boys teams and top recruited players. The field for the newly named Gulfshore Invitational was announced Thursday, and it features 22 teams from 15 states and Canada. But none from Southwest Florida.
With three teams currently ranked in the top 20 nationally by ESPN and 18 players who are ranked among the top 100 in their class, the Gulfshore could be on par with the City of Palms. The tournament in Fort Myers the week before the Gulfshore is largely regarded as the best high school basketball tournament in the country.
"I'm excited to see and show a very competitive, high level of basketball here in Collier County," said Alexander Getta, president of Getta Sports which created the new Gulfshore Invitational.
The Gulfshore Invitational is nearly a complete turnaround from the Gulfshore Shootout, which had featured mainly local and in-state teams recently.
In addition to increasing the quality of teams, the biggest difference with the new Gulfshore is location. The tournament will be Dec. 27-31 at Community School, moving from Golden Gate High School where it was played since 2004.
"Community School is so centrally located," Getta said, "and with their beautiful field house arena, we felt it was the best fit for us long term."
"We're excited to have it in our building," Community School athletic director Cassie Barone said. "We hope it's very successful. We'd like to see it in our field house for quite a few years to come."
THE GULFSHORE INVITATIONAL
Dec. 27-31 at Community School of Naples
Bel Aire (Kan.)-Sunrise Christian
Concord (Calif)-De La Salle
High Point (N.C.)-Wesleyan Christian
Metuchen (N.J.)-St. Joseph’s
New Orleans-St. Augustine
Newark (N.J.)-St. Benedict’s
Orlando Christian Prep
Wilbraham (Mass.)-Wilbraham and Monson Academy
Winston-Salem (N.C.)-Quality Education Academy
Headlining the Gulfshore is Montverde Academy from near Orlando. The Eagles are ranked No. 2 in the country by ESPN and have two University of Florida recruits. Montverde will play in the City of Palms from Dec. 18 to 22. Prime Prep Academy, a charter school recently started in Dallas by Fort Myers native and former NFL star Deion Sanders, was scheduled to play in both tournaments, but now won’t in City of Palms.
Newark (N.J.)-St. Benedict's (No. 13) and Hyattsville (Md.)- DeMatha (No. 20) also are ranked by ESPN. Sunrise Christian Academy from Bel Aire, Kan., is No. 9 in MaxPreps' rankings of academies and prep schools.
Sunrise is one of the eight independent teams playing in a separate bracket from the 14-team Gulfshore Invitational. Some schools who belong to their state athletic associations are not allowed to play teams who are not in the National Federation of State High School Associations, so the independent teams have their own bracket.
Montverde and Orlando Christian are the only teams from Florida. Community School and Golden Gate will play games during the tournament but will not be part of the bracket.
The one mainstay will be Ensworth from Nashville, Tenn. The Tigers are making their fifth trip to Naples the past six seasons. Ensworth won the Gulfshore Shootout title last year and in 2008.
For the tournament's first 15 years, the Gulfshore Shootout was run by Golden Gate coach Joe Consolino. He started the eight-team tournament in 1996 when he coached Barron Collier. It expanded to 16 teams the next year and soon began drawing teams from all over the state and some from outside Florida.
As the down economy affected the area, the tournament lost sponsorship dollars and couldn't afford to pay teams' travel expenses. That led to a 2010 tourney in which nine of the 16 teams were from Southwest Florida.
Getta stepped in this year with a vision of creating a top-notch event. He knew there was a market for it after watching the Holiday Shootout, the girls' tournament at Barron Collier, expand to a national field in recent years.
A former player of Consolino's at Barron Collier and former Golden Gate assistant, Getta used his connections from the business world to drum up sponsorship. He used his coaching contacts to bring in some of the top teams in the country.
"We felt that this city had the ability, after hosting a girls tournament with a national feel to it, to do the same thing here," Getta said. "The fact that we live in one of the best cities in the country made it easy."
General admission tickets will be $20 a day, and weekly passes can be purchased for $90. For more information visit www.gulfshoreinvitational.com.