I’ve read reports and seen video of the ugly on-field incident this season following the South Central and D.H. Conley football game.
The video told a troubling story, and now, weeks after the incident took place, the N.C. High School Athletic Association has handed down one of the most interesting penalties in its history.
When South View travels to play South Central Friday night in the second round of the NCHSAA 4-A football playoffs, the students from South Central are barred from attending the game because of the fighting incident.
According to various published reports, the NCHSAA apparently took the action because it put much of the blame for what happened in that South Central-Conley fiasco on the students from South Central who came onto the field at the game’s end.
What is so unprecedented about this penalty is the groups who weren’t involved in the incident at all who will be impacted.
The NCHSAA gets revenue from the playoff gates in various state championships.
In football, the NCHSAA takes a portion of the gate of each playoff game. After expenses, the two competing schools divide what’s left.
With South Central students barred from attending their home game, unless South View brings a tremendous crowd and the adults at South Central who are allowed to attend make up the attendance difference, there’s a chance that with expenses factored in, this could be a deficit gate.
It’s clear the NCHSAA is sending a strong message to South Central and the entire state that this kind of conduct won’t be tolerated, even at the cost of losing money.
This is definitely a decision to be mindful of going forward for all spectators at high school games in this state. If it happened once, it can happen again, if we let it.
The record: 81-25
I bounced back from my disaster the last week of regular season with a 5-1 record in the first round of the playoffs, putting the season total at 81-26, 76.4 percent.
Rocky Mount at Terry Sanford - Rocky Mount will be looking for revenge after losing to Terry Sanford 36-16 in the first round of last year’s state playoffs. I think the Bulldogs will prevail again.
Terry Sanford 24, Rocky Mount 17.
South View at South Central - This is going to be an odd atmosphere for South View with no students from the opposing school in the stands. The big thing for the Tigers is to keep the noise of the controversy out of their heads and focus on the game. South View has also played a tougher schedule than South Central this season, and I think that will help the Tigers.
South View 22, South Central 20.
Seventy-First at Durham Riverside - The Falcons had a disappointing visit to Durham earlier this year, losing to Southern Durham 36-32. I think this trip is going to end differently.
Seventy-First 24, Durham Riverside 16.
Apex Middle Creek at Pine Forest - This looks like a close match on paper. I’m hoping home field and a week of rest to heal and fine tune things is going to be a plus for Pine Forest.
Pine Forest 18, Middle Creek 12.