Penalties announced for Bogalusa-Amite fight

Published 1:15 pm Saturday, January 9, 2016

On Saturday, the Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) officially announced its rulings from the separate sportsmanship hearings that dealt with a fight in the Bogalusa-Amite Class 3A quarterfinal playoff football game.

Those penalties for Bogalusa include fines and administrative costs, forfeiture of the first game of the 2016 season and academic probation. In addition, no spectators will be allowed at the Bogalusa-Amite regular season game in 2016.

For Bogalusa, according to the ruling based on LHSAA Rule 5.11.8, which addresses players being ejected for coming off the bench onto the court or field, “first-offense player or players shall be suspended and ruled ineligible to participate at any level through the next contest.”

Bogalusa shall therefore forfeit the first football contest of the 2016 season. Also, Bogalusa is required to submit a written plan of action to the LHSAA to address fighting and players coming off the bench by 3 p.m., Friday, Feb. 5.

Based on LHSAA Rule 5.11.10, “student or fan in being in violation of misconduct prior to, during or immediately after an athletic contest,” the school may be fined up to¬†$500. Bogalusa has been fined $500.

LHSAA officials said that other penalties may be imposed on the school or individuals, “to a degree in keeping with the severity of the violation.”

Therefore, spectators will be prohibited from attending the 2016 Amite versus Bogalusa football game. It will be considered a closed competition. The only spectators allowed will be the school band, cheerleaders and paid staff leaders. A representative from the LHSAA will be in attendance at this game.

Based on rule 5.11.13, “school involved with infractions inconsistent with competition or a wholesome athletic program, including sportsmanship violation,” the school may be placed on administrative, disciplinary, restrictive or suspension probation not to exceed one calendar year.

Therefore, Bogalusa has been placed on administrative probation for all sports for one calendar year.

Also, the school may be required to pay for the cost of any hearing and/or investigation connected with the violation. Therefore, Bogalusa shall be required to pay for the cost of the hearing connected with the violation. The school will be invoiced these costs at a later date.

Also, based on Rule 5.11.15, which addresses failure to furnish the LHSAA with a required or requested report, due to the school not reporting the incident, Bogalusa was fined $2,000.

Amite received the same penalties, as well. The Warriors were also previously disqualified from the 2015 postseason, as a result of their participation in the fight.

In addition, referee Danny Gunn of the Thibodaux Football Officials Association was punished for not properly reporting the “unusual circumstances of the game” to the LHSAA in a timely fashion. Gunn was suspended from the first week of the 2016 football postseason.

LHSAA Executive Director Eddie Bonine will review the ruling and will either agree with it, or add additional sanctions as he deems necessary.

For more on this story, see the Wednesday, Jan. 13, edition of The Daily News.