Lady Devils benched, fines dealt
By By Chandler Myers
A fight occurred during the Escambia County High School Lady Blue Devils’ game against the Vigor Lady Wolves last week, school administration confirmed.
The Lady Blue Devils traveled to Vigor Jan. 4 for their first region game, and now find themselves without nine players, fined and placed on probation following the incident due to the players leaving the bench during the altercation.
Escambia County High School Principal Harvey Means said the incident happened due to a fight between two players on the court.
The incident recalled images of a brawl last year during the Alabama High School Athletic Association basketball playoffs in which fans became involved in the altercation. After that fight, rules were revised to say that any player that leaves the bench during a fight is automatically suspended for 20 percent of the team’s season.
AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese said the rules not only include ejections and suspensions, but fines as well.
Means said school administration was conducting an investigation of the event because an administrator was not present at the game.
By rule of the Escambia County Schools, an administrator must be present at any away sporting event.
Means said confusion in schedules led to the school not having an administrator present in Mobile.
Through the investigation, the administration with Escambia County High School was looking at a film of the game to determine who and what caused the incident.
Means said that with review of the film, administrators have determined that no further actions will take place against the players involved. He added that in the process of dubbing the tape for the AHSAA, it was accidentally destroyed.
With the punishment comes a $2,700 fine that the school will have to pay.
Escambia County Superintendent Billy Hines said the money would not come from the school board, but the school’s budget.
As for Lady Blue Devils Head Coach John Saxon, he said the issue is behind he and his team, and he looks forward to the rest of the season.
"I really don't want to comment on that issue," he said. "We are just putting it behind us, and moving forward with the rest of our season."
Publisher Adam Prestridge contributed to this story.