Bleakley Platt Executive Committee Chairman William P. Harrington Leads Schools and County Center to a Win

February 2018

Relying as much on his diplomatic skills as his legal talents, Executive Committee Chairman William P. Harrington has resolved an ugly battle between numerous local girls and boys basketball coaches’ associations and Section 1, leading to an agreement that has returned high school basketball semi-finals and finals to the iconic Westchester County Center.

In Fall 2017, Section 1 leaders decided to remove championship basketball games from the Westchester County Center.  The boy’s basketball games had been held in the arena since 1933, the girl’s games since 1999, and semi-finals and finals have been held there every year since, with the exception of 2005.

The coaches’ complaint accused Section 1 of hijacking the student-athlete’s dreams of playing in the County Center solely with profits in mind.

Represented by Bleakley Platt Executive Committee Chairman William P. Harrington, the coaches filed a lawsuit alleging that the decision to remove the games was illegal and should be nullified. The coaches believed there was a deliberate breakdown in the decision-making process that violated Section 1’s constitution, which mandates that the Athletic Council must give final approval for tournament and sponsor selections.  The Athletic Council was not involved in making the decision to move the games.

A deal was brokered between the schools and the office of County Executive George Latimer. Athletic directors Henry Sassone (North Salem) and Roman Catalino (Somers) Chris Drosopoulos (Briarcliff) and Artie McCormack (Irvington) were key players in the deal.

The lawsuit will be dropped and the focus of the coaches and Section 1 can now return where it belongs: on the student-athletes and basketball.