OHSAA to investigate Warren JFK's decision to walk off court in Windham

By Jim Manion | Correspondent Published:

Warren JFK could suffer consequences from Tuesday night's decision to leave the basketball court before the conclusion of its game at Marty Hill Court in Windham.

The Bombers were leading in the game 88-49 with 3:51 remaining in the game when JFK players and coaches went to their locker room. The officials declared the game over and also left the court.

In the guidelines, OHSAA's General Sports Regulations No. 14.1 deals with players leaving the "playing area" and entering the "spectator area."

Tim Stried, OHSAA Director of Information Services, said Wednesday that penalties under rule No. 14.1 could be as much as all players leaving the court being suspended for the remainder of the school year. In this case that would be the entire JFK team.

Rule No. 14.2 states that the school shall be immediately placed on probation pending an investigation. The OHSAA administrator for basketball is Assistant Commissioner John Snodgrass, and he would head up the investigation. The key document of the report is from the game officials.

"I would not go so far as to say the whole team will be ineligible," said Stried. "The first item (14.1) is usually applied to a player going into the stands and fighting with a spectator. I can tell you, however, that penalty 14.2 states the school is immediately placed on probation pending the report, and I think that is where we are right now."

Once the game starts, the officials are in charge and they have the authority to stop the contest and declare it over. If that were the case Tuesday night prior to the JFK players leaving, then there would probably be no penalties issued. However, all reports from multiple witnesses from Tuesday's scenario say JFK walked off the court without any legitimate threat of a hostile situation erupting.

The frustrated JFK team that left the court probably did not realize they had crossed the line when they departed, which came after being whistled for five technical fouls -- three of which were delivered to their coaching staff. Head coach Shawn Pompelia was ejected from the game after receiving a pair of technicals.

In all, the Eagles (3-13) were whistled for 25 personal team fouls.

After the JFK team walked off the court, several JFK fans came onto the floor and approached the officials. It was reported that one person actually grabbed one of the referees.

The JFK frustrations probably started before the Eagles ever took the court Tuesday. These two teams have been involved in several double- and triple-overtime games recently, with the Bombers coming out on top every time. Windham eliminated JFK 50-49 last season in the district championship game.

There reaches a point in a season and a game when you have to admit defeat and take your seat on the bench as the game winds down to the final tick of the clock. To blame the officials for every mistake your team makes and every foul that is called is only showing your immaturity as a coach.

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