By Colin Harris | Staff Writer
Warren JFK will likely face no further punishment for its role in early February's 88-49 loss to Windham, according to the Ohio High School Athletic Association.
Before the Feb. 5 game with the Bombers could be completed, Warren JFK assistant coaches elected to pull their players from the game and leave the court in protest of what they determined to be unplayable conditions.
JFK players eventually returned to the court to finish the game, but that the three-man officiating crew had left the court and refused to return following harassment from what were identified as JFK fans.
OHSAA Director of Information Services Tim Stried said that an investigation determined that the officials, who control the game once it begins, had made the right decision in ending the game.
"The officials ended the game at an appropriate time and we believe that (the officials) were still in control of the game at that point," Streid said. "The investigation is still wrapping up, but we do not anticipate any further punishment for Warren JFK."
The potential rule being cited as violated by JFK's actions is General Sports Regulation No. 14, which says, "No member of any school-sponsored interscholastic athletics squad shall leave the 'playing area' in which a contest is being conducted and enter the 'spectator area' of the facility to engage in any type of conflict -- verbal or physical."
Stried said that an investigation found that JFK was not in violation of that regulation.
"That rule is mainly for a situation involving a player or players leaving the bench to go into the stands," Stried said. "That did not happen in this situation and the officials were still in control of the game."
JFK is set to begin postseason play on Feb. 27, with an opening-round Division IV Warren Sectional contest against Kinsman Badger.
One punishment that will be carried out is the suspension of JFK head coach Shawn Pompelia for two games.
Pompelia was ejected from the contest after picking up his second technical foul early in the fourth quarter.
Under OHSAA bylaws, Pompelia must serve a two-game suspension and pay a $100 fine. Pompelia must also complete a teaching and modeling behavior course through the National Federation of State High School Associations Learning Center.
JFK assistant coach Marlon McGaughy, who assumed coaching duties following Pompelia's ejection, said his decision to leave the court was based on safety concerns.
"I don't want my team to get disrespected and I felt like we were getting harassed and threatened by some of the fans. I was doing what I did for safety reasons," McGaughy said.