TASMANIA'S hugely successful basketball program has come off the rails.
Disagreements between funding partners have seen the head coach resign, the program suspended and the state's dozen best players left without support.
For years the state has consistently produced more than its fair share of national representatives with the likes of Hollie Florance, Adam Gibson, Matthew Knight and Hugh Greenwood making senior national teams and a multitude of promising teenagers breaking into Australian youth teams.
Just this week, the 10 players selected in the Australian under-19 team to contest next month's Pacific Championships in New Zealand featured as many Tasmanians as New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia put together in Launceston's Kai Woodfall and Hobart duo Tanner Krebs and Callum Barker.
Six months ago the same trio helped win Tasmania's first medal at a national championships when the state finished third at the under-18 titles in Brisbane.
Now all three, and many more prospects from around the state, have their basketball careers in limbo.
The National Training Centre program ceased to exist when Tasmanian Institute of Sport coach Justin Schueller resigned last month.
It is understood that the high-performance program received $60,000 a year from Basketball Australia, $40,000 plus $25,000 of in-kind support from the TIS and $25,000 from Basketball Tasmania.
TIS director Paul Austen and BT general manager Chris McCoy both told The Examiner that the innocent parties in the dispute are the basketballers.
``We are exceptionally disappointed that for athletes identified to be part of the program the opportunity to advance their sporting ambitions is currently in limbo,'' Austen said.
``Justin had built a good program that was producing the expected results but I can understand him taking another opportunity given the uncertainty that existed with the continuation of the program and we are unable to continue to deliver this program without a coach.''
McCoy added: ``We were renegotiating with the TIS and BA for a new agreement when the head coach left the state.
``Unfortunately this has occurred because the TIS head coach, who was not under our control, has left.''