A pair of North Carolina high school football teams will be allowed to continue their seasons after a fight occurred at last Thursday’s game between the two rivals.
On Tuesday, Pitt County Schools released a statement detailing the North Carolina High School Athletic Association discipline rulings for the D.H. Conley High School (Greenville, N.C.) and South Central High School (Winterville, N.C.) football teams after the fight at the end of Thursday’s game.
According to the statement issued to various media, there are player suspensions and fines, but the teams will be allowed to continue in the postseason. Some players have been suspended and several students been banned from attending further games this season. In addition, both head football coaches will also take the National Federation of State High School Associations Teaching and Modeling Behavior course prior to their next game.
Part of the statement reads:
“It’s disappointing to have such a a great game marred by the interactions between fans, players and coaches. We have been investigating internally at each school and cooperating with NCHSAA officials to determine the course of action and any discipline that may be handed down,” Ron Butler, the Coordinator of Athletics and Community Schools for Pitt County Schools said. “We have received the sanctions and are ready to address them and move forward.”
The investigation included review of video. Pitt County Schools says it also cooperated with the NCHSAA’s independent investigation.
According to the Greenville Daily Reflector, the brawl began after South Central rushed the field at D.H. Conley to celebrate a 28-27 win that clinched the 3-A/4-A Eastern Carolina Conference championship for undefeated South Central (10-0).
Video of the altercation shot by WITN showed a Conley player punching what looked to be a South Central fan. The coaches were also shown having a terse discussion. Conley football coach Nate Conner repeatedly yelled to the other coaches that the winning players had planted a South Central flag on Conley’s field.
“We have reviewed the penalties and have accepted them with no plans of appealing,” said D.H. Conley athletic director Rob Maloney, per the Wilson Times. “We also plan to use this experience as a teachable moment for all of our student athletes, coaches and fans. In addition, we wish South Central the best of luck in the playoffs.”
“We accept the decisions and are looking to move forward,” said South Central athletic director Chris Cherry, per the Wilson Times.
According to HighSchoolOT.com, six different teams have been disqualified from the N.C. state playoffs in just the last week because of fighting.
Per HighSchoolOT.com, NCHSAA rules state that football teams who have three or more players ejected for fighting over the course of the season are ineligible to compete in the state playoffs. The NCHSAA also reserves the right to eject players for incidents that “occur before or after games and has the right to review video to issue rulings retroactively.”