An LHSAA sportsmanship committee handed out identical sanctions that included a fine of $2,500 to both Amite and Bogalusa high schools in the aftermath of an altercation that took place at the end of a quarterfinal football playoff game played Nov. 27 at Amite.
Fans also will not be allowed to attend the 2016 football game between the two District 7-3A rivals and both schools were ordered to forfeit their Week 1 game in 2016.
The Bogalusa-Amite story garnered headlines across the state because LHSAA Executive Director Eddie Bonine opted to remove Amite from the Class 3A semifinals based on the incident that included players and fans.
The LHSAA announced sanctions Saturday, two days after Amite’s sportsmanship hearing. Bogalusa’s sportsmanship hearing was last month. The schools have 15 days to appeal.
“I was surprised by the amount of the fines and by the forfeit of the first game. We already missed one game — the semifinal,” Amite Principal Renee Carpenter said. “I don’t know if we’ll appeal. We’ll take a few days to talk and look at it.”
Game officials halted the game with about two minutes remaining, with Amite leading Bogalusa 56-20. The incident took place after an Amite touchdown.
Both teams were required to forfeit their first game in 2016, a direct result of the fact a number of players from both teams reportedly left the bench. LHSAA rules stipulate that players who leave the bench for any reason must sit out the next contest.
The largest fine for each school was $2,000 for failing to report the incident to the LHSAA. Bonine and the LHSAA didn’t learn about what happened until Sunday, nearly two days after the game. Each school also was fined $500 based on the fact that fans entered the field once the altercation began.
The two schools also are required to pay for the cost of their respective sportsmanship hearings, must submit a plan of action to prevent a similar incident in the future in writing to the LHSAA and were placed on administrative probation in all sports for one calendar year.
Carpenter submitted a plan of action during Amite’s appeal and will resubmit her plan with any potential updates.
Referee Danny Gunn of the Thibodaux Football Officials Association was reprimanded for failing to report the incident to the LHSAA.