An LHSAA sportsmanship committee issued identical penalties to Central High and Comeaux High based on their roles in an altercation that stopped a spring football scrimmage.
The two schools were fined $200 each, will not be allowed to play a fall scrimmage, must split the cost of the Tuesday hearing at the LHSAA office and were placed on administrative probation for the 2016-17 school year.
All coaches and varsity players for both teams must take and pass National Federation of High Schools sportsmanship courses before the fall season begins.
Comeaux head coach Doug Dotson and former Central assistant Guy Blanchard were cited for unsportsmanlike acts and were individually placed on probation for one year in the written sanctions released Thursday.
Dotson and Central head coach Sid Edwards emphasized the importance of sportsmanship in light of what happened.
“When something like this occurs, I understand the sportsmanship behind them,” Dotson said. “I’m willing to take whatever the consequences are. We did wrong.
“It’s unfortunate. I always tell our kids I want to play with class. I want to represent Comeaux with class. No matter what caused it, that certainly doesn’t show class, and I think our kids understand now the severity of it and we’re not going to do that.
“Moving forward, we’re going to talk to our kids about it more — not that we haven’t, but we don’t want that to happen again.”
Edwards said, “What it comes down to is when you’re wrong, you’re wrong. This is not something any of us, players or coaches, are proud of.
“We’ve always taken sportsmanship very seriously, and we’ll move forward learning something from this.”
The May 18 scrimmage at Central was in its final stages when several fights broke out following an interception by Central near the goal line.
With both teams in close proximity, Blanchard ran down to congratulate his players and threw his hat in the air. Blanchard referenced a social media post before the game and said, “snapchat that.” Soon after, the altercation started.
As the coaches for both teams worked to separate players, referee Ronald Kemp requested help from on-site security and eventually opted to end the scrimmage.
Kemp told the committee that Dotson, who previously served as an assistant and head coach at Central, made derogatory comments to him. Dotson refuted those claims.
Dotson said the teams’ proximity to each other played a role in what happened.
“It was a spring scrimmage, so you’ve got people out on the field,” Dotson said. “If it was a regular game and we’re 50 yards away from each other, it probably doesn’t happen.
“But we were very close to each other, the teams were probably 10 yards away from each other just because of the amount of people we had on the field in the scrimmage format.”
Edwards also noted that Blanchard’s decision to resign at Central was not directly tied to the scrimmage altercation.
“Guy Blanchard is a good coach, someone I’ve coached with before and somebody I’d coach with again,” Edwards said. “There were plenty of people involved that day, and there’s plenty of responsibility to go around. I’m responsible and so were all the players and coaches.”
Luke Johnson also contributed to this report.