RSSS appeals state’s ruling on basketball suspensions
Published 1:13 am Thursday, February 18, 2016
By Dennis Davidson
SALISBURY — The Rowan Salisbury School System has appealed the North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s suspension of some of the students who were involved in the scuffle between the Salisbury and North Rowan boys basketball teams.
Dr. Art Paschal, RSSS’s new athletic director, confirmed that a meeting was held on Wednesday morning, and an appeal was carefully crafted and emailed to the state association.
The meeting, held at Horizons, was attended by Paschal, superintendent Dr. Lynn Moody, executive director of legal services April Kuhn, public information officer Rita Foil, the two principals, Luke Brown of Salisbury and Dr. Fateama Fulmore of North Rowan, and the two athletic directors, Dale Snyder of Salisbury and North’s Ben Hampton.
Both schools received letters from the NCHSAA on Tuesday stating violations of individuals leaving the bench area to participate in a fight (contact or no contact). The penalties for the violations, in addition to individual four-game suspensions, included the loss of playoff opportunities and a $1,000 fine.
[Story continues below video]
The NCHSAA would have based its ruling on the report from the three game officials, and that led to the appeal by local administrators.
“We have appealed,” said Paschal, only in his third week on the job. “We sent a request to the commissioner (Que Tucker) of the high school association and to the executive board around lunchtime today (Wednesday). When you have a blanket suspension, you might catch who deserves the punishment, but you’ll get a lot of people who don’t deserve it as well, and that’s just not right. We presented it in the best way that we know. We had input from a lot of people, including legal advice, and tried to present it in a professional manner.
“This is not to say that we condone what took place last Friday night and we’ll hold accountable those students that deserve punishment,” continued Paschal. “But our issue is that we don’t think ejecting upwards of 20 additional players that didn’t deserve the ejection, much less the consequences, is fair.”
Paschal did not want to speculate on the odds of the appeal being granted, which could mean that the two teams may be able to participate in the state playoffs after all. Obviously, any participation in the Central Carolina Conference Tournament, which has already begun, is gone.