If Ensworth wins a fourth consecutive Division II-AA football championship, it will be without the Tigers head coach.
Ricky Bowers and assistant Paul Wade will be suspended for the Tigers’ Dec. 5 title game against Memphis University School following their ejections after Friday’s 21-12 semifinal win over Brentwood Academy.
The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association upheld the suspensions on Monday, and there is no appeal process. For ejections in football, the player or coach also must miss the next game.
“According to the officials’ report, both (ejections) were for cursing the officials,” Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association executive director Bernard Childress said. “In the case of coach Bowers, it was in the officials’ report that he actually made contact with the official twice.”
Ensworth head of school David Braemer declined to comment Monday. Bowers could not be reached for comment.
Bowers and Wade will not be allowed to be at Tennessee Tech’s Tucker Stadium during the game.
Both coaches and Brentwood Academy defensive lineman Derek Barnett were ejected after time expired. Barnett received a personal foul penalty for shoving Ensworth quarterback Coleman Goodwin, who had scrambled out of bounds along his team’s sideline once the horn sounded.
Barnett, a senior who has committed to Tennessee, will have to serve a two-game suspension in any other sport in which he participates for Brentwood Academy.
Former TSSAA executive director Ronnie Carter said he could not remember a coach being suspended from a championship game for unsportsmanlike behavior prior to the contest.
“I can recall (postseason) games, but not a championship game,” Carter said.
Referee Michael Lloyd has been sanctioned for his involvement and will not work any remaining postseason games, Childress said. Bowers said after the game that Lloyd, a member of the Memphis-based Mid-South Football Officials Association, also used profane language.
“There’s no place for it in any situation,” Childress said.
“That’s interesting,” said Lloyd, who also is a minor league umpire. “I guess I’ll reserve my comment until I find out all the details.”