Court of Law decides championship?


1 Response to “Court of Law decides championship?”

  1. December 3, 2010 at 4:20 PM

    An on-field brawl leads to court battles — It’s a sad day for society if judges have to decide sports championships

    BYLINE: Dmedit

    ON Nov. 19, the quarterfinal game between South Charleston High School and Hurricane High School for the AAA football championship ended in a brawl with 14.4 seconds left on the clock.

    The litigious free-for-all that has since developed in the state’s circuit courts is equally regrettable.

    So far, clearly unacceptable on-field conduct has ensnarled players of four high schools, two circuit judges, the state’s Secondary School Activities Commission, countless lawyers, and could eventually involve the state Supreme Court.

    Is this how West Virginia high school sports will be run in the future? If it is, that is more regrettable still.

    South Charleston won the Nov. 19 game, but the SSAC ultimately suspended five players from South Charleston and four from Hurricane.

    The Hurricane players, their season over, will pay their one-game penalty next year.

    But the suspended South Charleston players sought to block their suspensions so they could play in last Saturday’s semifinal game against Brooke High School, . Kanawha County Circuit Judge Carrie Webster granted them a temporary restraining order.

    With the suspended players playing – and scoring virtually all the points – South Charleston defeated Brooke 29-28 and looked forward to the championship game. That was scheduled for this Saturday.

    But Brooke High School contends that South Charleston should have to forfeit its win because suspended players were allowed to play. Brooke’s lawyers sought to intervene in Webster’s court. She did not allow that.

    So Brooke sought a temporary restraining in Ohio County to delay the AAA championship game until what is legal and what is not can be resolved. Circuit Judge Arthur Recht granted that.

    The SSAC has postponed the final game between South Charleston (assuming its semifinal victory stands) and Martinsburg High School. Now a fourth bunch of kids has been ensnarled in this furball.

    Next up: The state Supreme Court. Now that it is issuing opinions that might or might not provide guidance to circuit judges statewide, perhaps the justices could draw a brighter line on high school sports.

    It might have been less damaging, to fewer kids, to let the good-faith calls of officials on the field stand.

    No, those calls won’t always be perfect.

    But is this better? Really?

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