SCHSL levies punishment against Summerville, Stratford for fight - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

SCHSL levies punishment against Summerville, Stratford for fight

COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC) - The Summerville and Stratford high school football teams are breathing a little easier now that the SCHSL handed down punishments for the post-game fighting that happened Sept. 25.

There was a question whether the two teams would be banned from postseason play, much like Wilson and Lake City were after a brawl after the two teams met in 2008.

Citing a less severe fight, the SCHSL levied a much less severe penalty against the two teams that included one to three game suspensions, fines, and being placed on "warned" status by the organization.

Live 5 News has learned from the Berkeley County School District that six Stratford players have been suspended for one game and three players have been suspended for two games. The school has said they will appeal the decision.

Summerville did not return phone calls regarding how many of its players are suspended, and for how long.

The SCHSL told the school district the suspensions would start Friday night, Oct. 2.

The full text of the release is below:

"The South Carolina High School League completed its review of all the
information received regarding the unsportsmanlike incident involving the varsity football teams of Summerville High School and Stratford High School that occurred after the game on September 25, 2009.

"After a thorough review of the information provided, the following sanctions were imposed:

        Athletes from both schools were suspended one to three games (depending on
their involvement).
        The football programs at both schools were placed on "warned status".
        Both schools were fined for "serious unsportsmanlike conduct" by the
football teams.

"The decision to place the football programs on "warned status" as opposed to "suspension" or "probation" was based on the fact that the unsportsmanlike behavior by the offending athletes, although unacceptable, did not reach the level of violence that warranted a more severe sanction.  There was no helmet swinging (used as a weapon) observed; no kicking or stumping; no police arrest of athletes; and no combative issues of coaches versus players, coaches versus coaches, fans versus players, fans versus coaches, etc.

"The League views the unsportsmanlike behavior of the participating athletes as a very serious matter and one that needs to be addressed sternly and appropriately.

"There were players observed participating in a combative nature.  As a result, these players were suspended from future games ranging from one to three games.

"The League appreciates the cooperation received from the two schools involved for their immediate attention to this matter and action(s) taken to address the matter.

"While this incident is an unfortunate situation, it also provides a great opportunity to educate our student athletes of the high expectations for sportsmanship that is required of them as representatives of their school and community."

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