The Louisiana High School Athletic Association will release the penalties incurred by Byrd, Southwood and Huntington at 4:30 p.m. today, The Times has learned. The LHSAA will have no further comment until that time.
Athletic programs at Byrd, Southwood and Huntington are expected to be hit with severe penalties, including postseason bans when the release is made public.
Huntington principal Travis Smith said “it’s in the hands of the Caddo Parish superintendent right now.”
“We’ll have to wait and see what happens,” said Smith, a Green Oaks graduate.
Byrd principal Jerry Badgley told The Times on Thursday, he didn’t believe his school would be penalized for having two physical education classes for athletes.
“They told us to clean it up and we did,” Badgley told The Times.
The problem apparently stems from the move in Caddo Parish two years ago to move from a block classroom situation, that offered 90-minute classes, to a seven-hour school day with 50-minute classes.
At question is Rule 9.3 of the LHSAA handbook concerning practice during the school day: “At all levels of play in all LHSAA sports prior to reporting for a team practice session that school day, if applicable, the school shall prohibit a student(s) from participating in any form of athletic participation for more than one regular class period during instructional time on a school day. This includes participation in weight lifting sessions, conditioning sessions skull sessions, the viewing of game films, viewing of game video tapesor DVDs, or any other similar athletic session. The principal is directly responsible to the association for his/her school’s strict compliance with these rules. If a school allows a student(s) to violate the rule, the school shall be ruled immediately ineligible for varsity state championship honors in the sport in which the student competes or has competed, and alsopenalized under Rule 5.11.12 – Schools involved in infractions inconsistent with wholesome competition or a wholesome athletic program including sportsmanship violations. This rule shall be enforced throughout the entire school year.”
Radio talk show host Tim Fletcher, a columnist for The Times, said on Twitter that the schools planned to appeal the ruling.
The girls’ basketball program at Southwood is affected, while most of the varsity sports at Byrd are allegedly affected.
Principals from Byrd and Southwood did not immediately return calls seeking comment.
Typically, after informing schools of a ruling, it gives the schools 24 hours before releasing its findings.
Check back for more details.
The Shreveport Times will be continuing to update.