Legal action could be taken against Basketball Tasmania to bring a missing 1981 NBL championship pennant home to Launceston.
But Basketball Tasmania has ruled the Northern Tasmanian Amateur Basketball Association has no say on the prize given to the Launceston Casino City Tigers.
The conjecture over the pennant's whereabouts has ensued that a war of words has broken out between Basketball Tasmania chief executive Chris McCoy and NTABA president Heath Butt since its discovery inside a shed of a Hobart house.
Basketball Tasmania has now taken possession of the 38-year trinket in its Hobart headquarters until a decision is made on its future home.
The NTABA claims to be its rightful owner after forming a sub-committee to run the club during its brief 1980-82 stint that included partially financing expenses.
"We've engaged a senior legal firm in Launceston to confirm our rights under our constitution and our operation at the time," Butt said.
The NTABA still has the documents of minutes from its meetings that outline how the Launceston Casino City Tigers club had unfolded.
Butt is insisting Basketball Tasmania has no right to deny the return of the pennant to the Elphin Sports Centre.
"We will not let this one die and are buoyed by the support we have received from former players, who actually know what happened - they played it out in more ways than one," Butt said.
Basketball Tasmania had removed the NTABA as an incorporated body from its current state structure
Butt said the NBL that first issued the pennant to the club that won it 75-54 against the Nunawading Spectres no longer exists either.
ELSEWHERE IN SPORT
The association had put in a plan a decade back that included a public plea for the return of the lost keepsake, which extended to the still missing 1981 NBL trophy.
"While we acknowledge the current CEO was not in any of position of power when we first started looking for our history in 2009, Basketball Tasmania were not attempting then to hinder our search or dispute ownership," Butt said.
Butt has put aside funds to prop up the pennant in a display case on the wall of Elphin court 3.
McCoy does not deny the former Dowling Street venue would be the ideal place to celebrate one of Launceston's top sporting moments, but Basketball Tasmania will reserve the right to make the final decision.
"The NTABA has no standing in our sport and should not be involved in anything in any way," McCoy said.
"I wanted to ensure that there is no credibility given to the NTABA, as from our point of view, it does not exist.
I'm not sure who should take ownership of it.
It should not be the NTABA as they officially don't exist and they weren't the Launceston Casino City organisation regardless of their sub-committee claims. Maybe it should be returned to the NBL."
The NBL plans to work with the respective parties to "ensure the pennant finds an appropriate home".
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