North Caddo must wait to learn its potential punishment after coach Ron Meikle and principal Anne Cherry appeared in front of a committee at an LHSAA sportsmanship hearing Tuesday afternoon.
Assistant executive director Keith Alexander and three executive committee members heard evidence regarding the end of North Caddo’s semifinal loss Madison Prep, when standout senior Robert Williams and three other Rebels walked off the court with about a minute to play in double overtime after a controversial intentional foul. More than one threw his jersey towards the bench and their actions drew a technical foul before Madison Prep went on to win 66-56 despite Williams’ triple-double.
“The pain of losing sometimes leads to bad judgment and I think that happens at any time at any level,” Meikle said. “Unfortunately with high school students and on a big stage like the state championships, it’s out there for everybody to see.”
He called his players’ actions “immature, inappropriate and embarrassing” to fans and parents of North Caddo after a remarkable 29-6 season that included a perfect District 1-2A record. The school already took disciplinary actions against the players, who had to take a state-sponsored sportsmanship class, write an apology, perform community service and could miss games due to suspension next season.
Meikle believes that should be enough and emphasized the actions don’t accurately represent his players and the way they played all season. Every Rebel except Williams, a Texas A&M signee, should return next season.
“I love those kids,” Meikle said. “They play their hearts out and I appreciated that and I enjoyed coaching them so I hope that’s what people remember.”
LHSAA spokesman Jacob Doyle said the decision won’t be made until at least Thursday and must be in the hands of Cherry by next Tuesday.