LHSAA executive director Eddie Bonine
Violators of LHSAA summer rules could face harsh penalties
Louisiana High schools that may have been thinking about defying the LHSAA’s order to delay its summer practice dates until June 8 better think again.
Two days after the LHSAA executive committee voted on the mandate, executive director Eddie Bonine sent out a second memo that details a list of sanctions schools could face by violating the new practice date.
The memo was sparked, apparently, from a number of calls from school officials asking what the consequence would be if their school jumped the summer rules start date.
“To a person, we were set back by this question,” said Bonine in the memo. “I will not rehash the content of the last communication sent to all of you, however student, coach, athletic trainer and others’ safety and the equity of everyone starting at the same time ‘prepared for mitigation measures’ for the safety was instrumental in the decision to postpone the May 17, 2020 start date and move it to June 8, 2020.
“The questions asked led me to believe one is contemplating, or one has heard someone is contemplating ignoring the change, and, while doing so, is blatantly ignoring the basis and/or rationale for the decision.”
Sanctions include placing a school on probation, suspending a school from the LHSAA or from participating in specific LHSAA sports for up to a year, fines of up to $2,500, along with the cost of any hearing/investigation. Coaches also face suspensions.
A list of 11 categories of sanctions also included a $500 readmission fee for schools suspended from the LHSAA. Schools could be prohibited from playing home games in a specific sport for up to a year. Schools could also be barred from playing games with spectators present.
The LHSAA will apply Rule 5.11.14 in the case of violations.
The rule states: Schools involved in infractions inconsistent with wholesome competition or a wholesome athletic program, including sportsmanship violations:
1. The school may be placed in administrative, disciplinary, restrictive, or suspension probation not to exceed one calendar year.
2. The school may be suspended from the Association until the alleged infraction is assessed by the Executive Committee, and if the school is suspended from the Association, it shall be fined $500 in order to be readmitted to the LHSAA.
3. The school may be fined not to exceed $2,500.
4. The offender may be reprimanded and/or placed on probation.
5. The school and/or program may be prohibited from playing home contests in a sport(s) not to exceed one calendar year.
6. The school and/or program may be suspended from participating in a sport(s) not to exceed one calendar year.
7. The school and/or program may be required to schedule a contest(s) without the presence of all spectators.
8. The school and/or program may be prohibited from playing in a home and/or away contest(s) with a certain spectator(s) in attendance for up to one year.
9. The coach shall be penalized under Bylaw 5.12.
10. The school may be required to pay for the cost of any hearing and/or investigation connected with the violation.
11. Other penalties may be imposed on the school and/or individual(s) to a degree in keeping with the severity of the violation.
Bonine asked schools to remain patient until June 8.
The memo states: “Please do not put this office in a position where we have to be involved in a punitive manner, affecting a school’s entire summer and/or potentially affecting a successful on time fall sports season start for everyone.”