Governor's Executive Order delays start of high school football season
 

The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association has ruled on a fight between the football teams for Shelbyville Central and Franklin County high schools last week.

A fight broke out during the third quarter of the game on October 23. Players with both Shelbyville and Franklin County schools were ejected from a game.

TSSAA officials asked the schools for videos, however they "were informed by both schools that no videos exist." 

With no video of the incident, TSSAA said they "relied on our conversations with the officials who were in charge and their written report."

The written report on the "unsportsmanlike incident" obtained by TSSAA stated the following: 

"We had a brawl between multiple players of both teams with both benches coming onto the field. We ejected Franklin County players number 63, 3, 57, and 86. We ejected three players from Shelbyville – numbers 15, 53, and 9. We probably could have had 30 or more. We stopped the game after the brawl with 3:34 left in the third period. Shelbyville was leading 43 to 10."

TSSAA officials said they received reports from Shelbyville Central and Franklin County high schools on Monday. 

TSSAA officials said they are taken the following actions against Franklin County High School: 

  1. Franklin County High School must adhere to Article III, Section 7 (Unsportsmanlike Conduct) as it reads pertaining to "Student-Athletes Ejected for Unsportsmanlike conduct."
  2. Franklin County High School is being fined $250.00 for substitutes leaving the bench area during an incident as written in the Bylaws.
  3. The Franklin County High School football program is being placed on restrictive probation for two calendar years beginning October 30, 2020, through October 30, 2022, and fined $1,000. Since the administration placed the football program on restrictive probation themselves for the first year, TSSAA is waiving the fine associated with that first year. Article V, Section 4(3) states: Restrictive probation to an individual sport in an athletic program shall result in removal from the tournament series and a fine of $1,000 annually. During the period of restrictive probation, the football program may participate in regular season contests but cannot participate in post-season competition.
  4. The Franklin County High School football program is being placed on probation for two calendar years beginning October 30, 2020, through October 30, 2022, and fined $1,000. Article V, Section 4(1) states: Probation to an individual sport in an athletic program shall result in a fine of $500 annually. If there are any other unsportsmanlike incidents involving the football program during the probationary period, TSSAA may have no choice but to take further action.
  5. The Franklin County High School football program is being fined a total of $2250.00 which is due to its unsportsmanlike action on October 23, 2020.

TSSAA officials said they are taken the following actions against Shelbyville Central High School: 

  1. Shelbyville Central High School must adhere to Article III, Section 7 (Unsportsmanlike Conduct) as it reads pertaining to "Student-Athletes Ejected for Unsportsmanlike conduct."
  2. Shelbyville Central High School is being fined $250.00 for substitutes leaving the bench area during an incident as written in the Bylaws.
  3. The Shelbyville Central High School football program is being placed on restrictive probation for two calendar years beginning October 30, 2020, through October 30, 2022, and fined $2,000. Article V, Section 4(3) states: Restrictive probation to an individual sport in an athletic program shall result in removal from the tournament series and a fine of $1,000 annually. During the period of restrictive probation, the football program may participate in regular season contests but cannot participate in post-season competition.
  4. The Shelbyville Central High School football program is being placed on probation for two calendar years beginning October 30, 2020, through October 30, 2022, and fined $1,000. Article V, Section 4(1) states: Probation to an individual sport in an athletic program shall result in a fine of $500 annually. If there are any other unsportsmanlike incidents involving the football program during the probationary period, TSSAA may have no choice but to take further action.
  5. The Shelbyville Central High School football program is being fined a total of $3250.00 which is due to its unsportsmanlike action on October 23, 2020.

"The TSSAA and its member schools believe strongly that the major purpose of athletics at the secondary level is to be a part of the total educational program. A major part of this purpose is to stress to coaches, players, officials, and fans the vital importance of sportsmanship. It is critical that all people in each of these categories understand the major role that they play and the role model that they can be for others," TSSAA said in a statement on Friday.

This decision by the TSSAA comes after the following actions were taken by Shelbyville Central High School: 

  • The administration suspended three players for the upcoming game on October 30th and followed the TSSAA procedures established for players ejected from a game.
  • The administration suspended one player from the SCHS football program for the remainder of the 2020 football season. He will not be allowed to participate in any football related activity, which includes workouts, practice, and games.
  • The administration suspended one player for the upcoming game on October 30th. The administration is still currently investigating the incident and if they discover any additional players actively involved in the incident, they will inform the TSSAA.
  • The administration shortened the football program’s spring practice from ten to seven days.
  • The administration eliminated one of the two pre-dead period seven-on-seven scrimmages.
  • The administration required the SCHS football program to begin and complete the NFHS sportsmanship course for coaches and players this week.

This decision by the TSSAA comes after the following actions were taken by Franklin County High School: 

  • The administration suspended the 4 players who were ejected from the game by officials and 5 additional involved players who were identified by the coaching staff for the remainder of the 2020-21 football season.
  • The administration to not permit the football team to participate in post-season play, if eligible.
  • The administration required the football team to abstain from ¼ (2 days and 1 scrimmage) of their spring practices.
  • The administration only allows the football team to participate in 1 7-on-7 scrimmage in the spring.
  • The administration requires the football team to abstain from 1 fall scrimmage.
 
 

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