|The Line-up is re-shuffled
In February of 1936, in the midst of the turbulence, Bucyrus changed their minds and applied to be readmitted to the NCOL. They had continued their amiable relations with the members except Mansfield. Apparently the financial opportunities of the league caused them to return. Bill McKee in his Bull Pen column wrote, "maybe the Bucyrians are tired of sitting around waiting for him (Coach Murphy) to fall dead." Meanwhile the football schedule was already set, so they were only included in the 1936-37 basketball schedule. After that time Mansfield dropped out of the league.
Although 1936 was the calm before the storm, it appeared that the NCO was an ideal arrangement for the seven schools according to J.L. Plank of Ashland, who gave these facts to the Times-Gazette Bull Pen column: "The traveling distances were not a burden on any school with Galion in the center of rectangular territory. Ashland to Marion was 50 miles and Shelby to Mt. Vernon and to Marion was just over 40 miles each. The population of the seven cities was 108,885 which included: Mansfield 33,434, Marion 31,084, Ashland 11,141, Bucyrus 10,014, Mt. Vernon 9,370, Galion 7,644, and Shelby 6,198 residents. While Mansfield was large still each school had been competitive with them at different times."
The great irony of the Mansfield demise was how the future played out. Because MHS had been the biggest box-office attraction, and they could put your athletic fund in the black, Ashland continued to play them. In 1934 the Mansfield gate receipts were $775.27, and the next home game made $833.90 in 1936. Canton McKinley offered Ashland at least $500 and hints of maybe $800 for a game in 1936, but Ashland hoped the Mansfield game would put them in the black. Which it did. As a side note Mansfield made $2000 for playing Paul Brown's Massillon Tigers in 1936.
Regardless of the money, by 1940 after one win in 13 years and back-to-back 44-0 and 40-0 defeats, Ashland announced this would be the last football game in the series because the Tygers were too tough. Even Bill McKee wrote in the T-G, "Its fine to talk about an Ashland victory but...we are outmanned and overpowered." In a shocker the Orange and Black pulled off a memorable last minute 7-6 upset of the big Red. They did not play again in football for three decades. Meanwhile Shelby was the last NCO team to play Mansfield, but that series ended in 1941 and they never played again.
Secondly, Marion, the largest school in the league, had only one outright football title and just two clear-cut basketball championships before Mansfield left the league. In the final eight years of the NCOL the Presidents finished in first place 6 straight times in football, 5 times in basketball, and 3 of the 4 NCOL track championships.