Hancock Central penalized for role in post-game fight by GHSA

By: Staff Email
By: Staff Email

Friday, May 5, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- A local high school is facing multiple penalties from the Georgia High School Association for a post-game brawl last October.

Hancock Central High School is being placed on "severe warning status" for the next two football seasons. If they sustain another sportsmanship violation, there will be more serious penalties.

The school has also been told to write a written security plan to the association, which needs to be submitted by July 15. This plan will include plans for both football and basketball games.

Hancock Central is also charged with fines for failing to exercise reasonable institutional control when the fight broke out, failing to have adequate school supervision and failing to appropriately discipline the one or more players who are said to have struck Warren County High School Coach David Daniel during the brawl.

This decision was appealed by the administration of Hancock Central, and a GHSA Appeal Board unanimously denied that appeal on Thursday.

Here is the official news release:
"After an extensive review of reports collected about the post-game altercation after the Hancock Central High School -- Warren County High School, the Georgia High School Association levied penalties again Hancock Central High School.

According the GHSA Executive Director Ralph Swearngin, "The investigation into this matter was very different than most GHSA investigations, because other agencies were conducting investigations that took precedence over this association. It was also difficult to filter through a tremendous amount of conflicting information about the incident as I tried to determine exactly what occurred."

The following GHSA by-laws deal with issues that are relevant in this matter:
By-law 2.26: Member schools are to educate students, coaches, and others about GHSA rules and procedures (including sportsmanship expectations), and should monitor compliance in these matters.
By-law 2.71c: Host schools have the responsibility to take appropriate precautions for comfort and security of all players, coaches, and officials.
By-law 2.77: The expectations of good sportsmanship extend beyond the time frame of the contest.

Based on the by-laws cited, the following penalties are being imposed:
1. All athletic programs at Hancock Central High School are being placed on "Severe Warning Status" for the 2012-13 and 2013-2014 school years. This status means that any major sportsmanship violations during this time period will result in more serious penalties.
2. Hancock Central High School must submit a written security plan to the GHSA Executive Director by July 15, 2012, for all football and basketball games. This plan must include, but not limited to:
a. specifications for monitoring players' movements to and from the dressing areas before games, at intermission, and after games
b. deployment plans for security personnel before, during and after games
c. description of additional measures for security that will be in put place for contests with anticipated large crowds and/or intense rivalries.
Those plans must be approved by the Executive Director before August 1, 2012.
3. Hancock Central High School is being fined for:
a. failing to exercise reasonable institutional control of the area where the altercation occurred
b. failing to have adequate school supervisory personnel in an area where potential conflict could have been anticipated
c. failing to appropriately discipline one or more players who were identified as having struck the Warren County coach.

This decision was appealed by the administration of Hancock Central High School, and a GHSA Appeal Board denied that appeal unanimously on May 3, 2012."

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