Published 12:00 am Monday, October 24, 2005

to decide on location for banquet soon|[10/24/05]

JACKSON – A decision could come as early as this week as to whether the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame banquet will return to Vicksburg next year, MSHOF executive director Michael Rubenstein said Saturday.

&#8220We’re very close to a decision and Vicksburg remains a strong possibility,” Rubenstein said. &#8220The people at the convention center have just been great and they’ve shown a lot of desire in wanting to keep the Hall of Fame banquet.”

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The convention center has hosted the banquet for the past four years under the direction of the Jackson Touchdown Club. But following last year’s banquet, the Jackson-based MSHOF gained control of both the selection process and the host city for the induction banquet.

Rubenstein wanted to explore other options. One decision that has been made is that the induction ceremony will no longer be in early April as it has been in the previous Vicksburg ceremonies.

&#8220We’re moving the date to either June or July,” Rubenstein said. &#8220We’ve got the basketball player of the year award in early April and then the Ferriss Award in baseball right after that in May, so a banquet in the middle of that is too much.”

A possible conflict for the VCC is the annual Miss Mississippi and Junior Miss pageants in early July, but Rubenstein says he doesn’t feel that will be a hindrance for the Hall of Fame.

&#8220The convention center folks are helping us with the dates and that shouldn’t be a problem. Being able to have it at that facility is a big plus for Vicksburg, especially considering Jackson won’t have its convention center finished until 2008,” Rubenstein said.

The 2006 MSHOF induction class will include Bovina resident and former Delta State University women’s basketball coach Lloyd Clark.