With two weeks to go before its supposed season start-up — its league website backs that up — it’s appears the next basketball to be played in the Civic Center will be the Bedouin Shrine Classic in January.
The Oklahoma Tatanka, if it plays at all, won’t be in Muskogee.What or where Otis Logan Jr. does with it is between him and the office of the Texas-based Women’s Minor League Basketball Association, whose president, KreTonia Morgan, told the Phoenix Friday a call was scheduled with him to discuss the issue late in the day.
No response from either Logan or Morgan came as to an outcome of that conversation, but earlier in the day, Morgan told the Phoenix no deal would occur with anyone other than Logan Jr., who had contractual and territorial rights.
Team members and its coach, Gena Logan Maxwell — a second cousin to the owner, collectively quit last week. Maxwell did not elaborate on those concerns and players contacted referred the Phoenix to her. Maxwell and the players talked with John Cruz, the Civic Center director, who attempted to act as an intermediary to find a solution to keep the team intact and here.
One solution, Cruz said, was that the team was going to operate under a board of directors, consisting of team members, and possibly purchase the team or at minimum operate without the day to day involvement of Logan Jr.
“He came back (Friday) and told me we could move forward ‘if you buy it. I’m here to make a profit,’” said Cruz, adding he understood the purchase to be the license and the entry fees he paid to the league.
That coincided with Morgan’s text message to the Phoenix that any move by the team to take control of the operations would not be recognized.
Earlier on Friday, Morgan indicated a move by the team to take control of operations would not be recognized. Logan Jr. had control of the Tatanka and territorial rights therein. He’s also registered the team in the Women’s American Basketball Association, which has teams from one coast to the other. The WMBLA has teams in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Georgia, Topeka, Kan., and Baton Rouge, La.
Logan, who said he would speak to the Phoenix about the issue Thursday after he got off work but failed to do so, said in a text message through Facebook messenger on Friday that “I have a partner in Tulsa with girls ready to play.”
“That’s why I had a practice squad,” he added.
However, there was apparently no practice beyond tryouts — which each player paid $50 for — and the announcement of the team in late April, but only a series of misunderstandings over how to proceed. Maxwell said there had only been a series of conditioning workouts run by her.
Cruz, meanwhile, says the city wants to do what it can for the team without a place to play, although those options appear limited. He said he’ll meet with the team and coach on Monday to discuss where to go from here.
“We’ve got other things going on as far as activity at the Civic Center, but I’m here at this point for the girls,” Cruz said. “They were the ones who got taken by this guy.”
Drama is not new to the Logan family in terms of sports start-ups.
Logan’s brother, Chris Logan, ran a semi-pro team in Warner called the Muskogee Timberwolves that folded due to financial issues. He then ran the Muskogee Bulldawgs for two seasons before directional issues within the team led to a dissolution of the Bulldawgs, most of those players regrouping as the Muskogee Monstars.