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IHSA denies Farragut’s appeal of double forfeit ruling

Farragut's Mikell Jones (21) takes time off the clock against Kenwood, Thursday 02-07-19. Worsom Robinson/For Sun-Times

The Illinois High School Association’s board of directors has denied Farragut’s appeal of the double forfeit ruling.

A brawl broke out in the final minute of the Class 3A sectional final between Farragut and North Lawndale on Friday. The IHSA ruled the game a double forfeit and disqualified both teams from the state playoffs.

Farragut filed an appeal on Monday in an attempt to convince the IHSA to let them play against DePaul Prep in the Class 3A super sectionals on Tuesday. The Admirals hoped to either complete the remaining time in the game or be declared the winner because they were ahead when the game was stopped. Monday afternoon the IHSA board sustained the ruling made by Craig Anderson, the IHSA executive director, on Friday evening.

“Game officials and tournament management indicated…that both benches had emptied and multiple players were involved in the fighting,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. “Both actions, leaving the bench and fighting, are immediate ejections per the NFHS rulebook, and require a one-game suspension per IHSA rules. We saw no possibility for either team to have enough eligible players to complete the game or field a roster for the next round. That report was later verified via video. Furthermore, we wanted to send the message that we will not let fighting in high school contests become accepted or the norm. These are dangerous situations that require serious consequences.”

North Lawndale released a statement on Sunday that the incident was unacceptable. Farragut has not released any official comment to the media.

The Admirals led North Lawndale, the sectional host, 54-50 with 41 seconds left in the game. A Farragut player went up for a dunk and was undercut by a North Lawndale player. That set off the brawl, which involved players and fans.

“It was crazy as hell,” a Farragut source said. “It is sad the way it went down.”

“After speaking to game management and the game officials, the IHSA ruled the contest a double-forfeit and it was never concluded,” Anderson said in a statement released late Friday night. “These are never easy decisions to make, but we believe it is the correct one. It is vital that we continue to send the message that incidents like this at high school contests will not be tolerated. They are unacceptable in society, no less a high school sporting event.”

In a radio interview on Saturday, Anderson said there would likely be additional penalties leveled against Farragut and North Lawndale next season.