UPDATE: The LHSAA ban of Amite has been upheld after the school district’s appeal was rejected. Amite now plans to appeal that decision to the district judge seated in Baton Rouge. For more information, click here.
A Louisiana high school football team has been banned from the ongoing state playoffs following a brawl at the end of the team’s victory in the previous round, leading to a potential bye to a state finals for a foe that lies in wait.
As reported by the Baton Rouge Advocate, among other sources, the Amite high school football team has been banned from the remainder of the 2015 football playoffs for its role in a postgame brawl that immediately followed its 56-20 victory against Bogalusa on Friday night. The brawl was instigated by Bogalusa players, according to an account from the Hammond Daily Star and the video of the incident you can see here.
Still, the Louisiana High School Athletic Association ruled that Amite bore enough responsibility for its reaction to the initial confrontation that it did not deserve to continue on in the postseason, in the form of a one-game ban for every player on the team due to their leaving the bench to take part in the fight.
“We were not notified about what happened until Sunday,” LHSAA Executive Director Eddie Bonine told the Advocate. “By the time the assignment secretary got the voice message from the (referee) about it, he was en route to his NFL game. …
“I don’t have video, but I don’t need the video. I have the eyewitness accounts of the two officials in the press box, side judges and the back judges as well as the (referee) saying every player was on the field. Nobody was left on the bench. There were fights everywhere. (The school’s job) is to provide me with information that would sway the preponderance of the evidence that they didn’t have anybody fighting.”
The end result of Amite’s ban would be an automatic state final berth for St. James, the team’s scheduled opponent in the Class 3A state semifinals. Of course, that’s only the case if an appeal scheduled for Wednesday by Amite falls short.
For his part, Bonine is convinced think the school even has a case against his ruling.
“Courts and fields are an extension of the educational classroom. What would happen if a fight like this broke out in a math class? I guarantee you the classroom would be cleared.”