The girls’ basketball programs at Bryan Station and Lafayette have been placed on probation through the rest of the season by the KHSAA following a review of film from a game between the two teams played last week.
Four Bryan Station players and three Lafayette players have been suspended two games each. Several players and managers from both teams left the bench after an incident during which actions took place that “within the letter of the NFHS playing rules, should have been considered a fight,” according to the KHSAA. Those two players received technicals in the game, which ended with nine ejections.
“The actions of the involved team members placed the health and safety of all in attendance at risk of injury, not only by the lack of self-control and discipline, but by the continued involvement when the situation occurred,” KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett said. Thankfully, this situation did not escalate to involve fans and all other team members. Those that did remain uninvolved showed the proper level of restraint.”
Every player present during that game for both teams must complete an NFHS sportsmanship program by Feb. 5 or else be ruled ineligible. Both schools have been fined $350. The teams are still eligible for postseason play.
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The full, unedited news release from the KHSAA is below.
KHSAA NEWS RELEASE
The KHSAA has handed down two-game suspensions to a total of seven girls’ basketball players following an altercation between Lafayette and Bryan Station on January 14, 2016. During the incident, violations of Bylaw 15 “Sportsmanship” were committed when multiple nonplayers (rostered individuals not in the contest) left the bench area. Due to the number of individuals involved in the situation, the game officials appropriately requested review by the KHSAA under the video review policy.
KHSAA policies and procedures permit the use of replay at the discretion of the Commission and in compliance with NFHS playing rules in a situation involving a fight, physical confrontation or ejection where the circumstances are potentially unable to be accurately observed and reported by the game officials, and where either the member school or official has requested such review. This could include identifying individuals that were not previously identified, correcting number/names of incorrectly identified individuals, identifying individuals, including nonplayers or substitutes, who enter the playing area in an altercation, or assessing different levels of involvement in the incident for the purpose of administrative action. The policy does not allow review of judgement calls by officials.
Through video provided by both teams, the evidence indicates the situation likely began with an inadvertent poke to the eye of a player from Lafayette, followed by a scramble for a loose ball, during which time a player from each team became entangled on the floor in an effort to secure possession. During the altercation, actions were taken between the two players that within the letter of the NFHS playing rules, should have been considered a fight. However, the two players were only assessed technical fouls from the officials. At the point of the altercation, several players from both benches left the bench area, taking multiple steps on to the playing floor, violating NFHS playing rule 10-4-5 which specifies a technical foul if a player “leaves the confines of the bench during or when a fight may occur.” Through the diligent work of the administrative and athletic staffs of each school and the school system, the names of the players that violated this rule have been clearly identified.
“It is the responsibility of everyone involved, administrators, coaches, officials, fans and participants, to ensure that a safe environment for athletic competition exists,” said KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett. “The actions of the involved team members placed the health and safety of all in attendance at risk of injury, not only by the lack of self-control and discipline, but by the continued involvement when the situation occurred. Thankfully, this situation did not escalate to involve fans and all other team members. Those that did remain uninvolved showed the proper level of restraint.”
Upon review of the situation, the Commissioner has handed down the following penalties:
▪ Four Bryan Station student-athletes and three Lafayette student-athletes will each receive a two-game suspension.
▪ Each student-athlete that is a member of the school team (at all levels) and present at the contest shall complete the sportsmanship course found on the NFHSLearn.com website. A student-athlete failing to meet this requirement shall be ineligible for any interscholastic participation if not completed by Friday, Feb. 5.
▪ Both programs are hereby placed on probation, in accordance with Bylaw 27, through the 2015-16 season.
▪ The principals at Bryan Station and Lafayette, in conjunction with Fayette County Schools’ administration, shall conduct a comprehensive review of sportsmanship expectations within the program.
▪ The principals at Bryan Station and Lafayette shall review game management practices and determine changes necessary to prevent recurrence of this type of situation.
▪ The Assigning Secretary for the officials working the game in question has confirmed his knowledge of the misapplication of the playing rules in this matter, and will review the situation with both the officials and the entirety of the association and take necessary and appropriate action.
▪ A $350 fine is assessed against the girls’ basketball programs at Bryan Station and Lafayette for violation of Bylaw 15. This is not the maximum allowable fine per Bylaw 27, but a reduced amount in acknowledgment of the cooperation from both programs.
The KHSAA will have no further comment on this situation. All inquiries should be directed to the administrators at Bryan Station and Lafayette.