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FHSAA hands down ruling on Northview forfeit

Team can’t play out of state opponents until fall 2019; coach to serve 1-game suspension

The Northview Chiefs can’t travel outside of Florida to compete in games until after the 2018-19 school year, according to a ruling handed down by the Florida High School Athletic Association.

The ruling came a week after the Chiefs’ forfeit of their game against Maplesville with 1:40 left in the third quarter. In addition, NHS head football coach Derek Marshman is serving a one-game suspension, which will be tonight’s game at Liberty County, Fla.

NHS Principal Gayle Weaver said she decided to call the game last week because the team felt as if its players were playing in a hostile environment.

“I didn’t want to risk anyone getting hurt, or arrested,” she said. “The temperament of the game was escalating. The no calls and bad calls were escalating.”

Weaver said players for Maplesville were “targeting” NHS players.

“Our athletic trainer approached them to watch it,” she said. “Our coaches asked (the officials) to watch it. The whistles weren’t blown when the play was dead.

“The lack of control by the officials led to everything going out of hand,” she said.

During the game, Marshman received two unsportsmanlike penalties.

In a statement from the FHSAA, an official said Marshman walked out past the numbers on the field, which warranted an unsportsmanlike penalty.

The FHSAA also said after reviewing the situation of Marshman’s ejection, it followed up with the official on Northview’s sideline, who confirmed the use of profane language by the Chiefs’ coach, which warranted the second unsportsmanlike penalty. In addition to the suspension, the school will have to pay a $250 fine ($100 for a coach being ejected and $150 for the use of profane language).

Weaver said she thought the FHSAA did what was necessary after a review of the facts.

“Some of the facts came down to what he said, she said,” Weaver said. “If we were to challenge what happened on sideline, it would still be he said she said. There’s nothing else we can do.”

One positive as a result is that NHS is still able to play in the postseason.

“We are very grateful that we’re still (able to play) in the playoffs,” Weaver said. “That is a huge thing to us and to the boys. That’s the one thing we were worried about.”

Weaver said once the dust settles, the school does want some kind of response from Alabama officials as to why the game was let out of hand.

“We will be following up,” she said.