The Executive Committee of the S.C. High School League will hear appeals from Camden and Dreher high schools on Thursday at 2 p.m.
At the hearing, which is open to the public, officials from both schools will ask the Executive Committee to reconsider last week’s decision to place both football programs on probation for the postgame fight that occurred on Oct. 17.
That Friday night, Camden defeated Dreher 39-30 in a Region 4-4A matchup.
During the handshake between teams on the field, a fight broke out between players from both teams. School administrators and coaches from both teams broke up the altercation.
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After reviewing film and meeting with officials from both schools, and Richland 1 and Kershaw County school districts, the League on Oct. 22 announced suspensions for at least 14 players — all for at least one game, and some for multiple games.
On Thursday, the League added team sanctions — fines and a year-long probation that includes the teams missing the playoffs this season, and sitting out the 2015 preseason.
League commissioner Jerome Singleton is charged with determining the appropriate sanctions for team infractions based on the organization’s constitution and by-laws. The imposed sanctions were deemed appropriate “due to the severity of the incident which involved multiple altercations and possible criminal charges by law enforcement,” according to the statement released by the League.
Both programs submitted requests for appeals on Oct. 24.
At the League offices on Oct. 30, the Executive Committee can decide to uphold the commissioner’s decision, or rescind any part of the penalty. Should the Executive Committee choose to uphold the probation decision, the schools have the opportunity to appeal that decision to the newly-appointed Appellate Panel.
That body was established in 2013 by an amendment to the League’s constitution in response to concerns that the organization’s appeals process was not thorough enough. The aim of forming such a group was to create “an appeals process whereby appeals of the association, body, or entity are made to a disinterested third body Appellate Panel.”
The appellate panel will consist of appointees from each congressional district, the governor, House Speaker, Senate president, and the S.C. Chamber of Commerce. If need be, this group will have the final decision on the sanctions imposed in this incident.
Only the Friday games remain in the regular-season schedule, and playoff brackets will be set Saturday.