McDonald's All-American throws punch in playoff but avoids ban

Cameron Smith

Last year, one of the best women's college basketball players in the country threw a punch at an opponent, and landed a suspension as a result. That's the way it should be. Yet, in the same state where that punch was thrown by Baylor center Brittney Griner, a high school player who pulled the same move may not be suspended from the state tournament her team advanced to, thanks in large part thanks to her efforts.

According to the Austin American-Statesman and FOX 7 News, Georgetown (Texas) High star Krystal Forthan threw a punch during her team's 68-56 victory over Pflugerville in the Class 5A Region II Finals on Saturday. The McDonald's All-American was ejected late in the Eagles' victory for throwing a punch at a Pflugerville defender during a scrap between the players.

Yet, unlike the NCAA, where conference disciplinary committees can bring additional suspensions for disciplinary problems, no such committee exists in the University Interscholastic League, which oversees Texas high school sports. Since there is also no standard procedure for discipline after a player throws a punch in a game, that leaves any suspension for Forthan at the hands of her coach, Georgetown headwoman Rhonda Farney, who will be allowed to make a unilateral decision on whether her star deserves any disciplinary actions.

As you might expect, Farney has already hinted strongly that won't be the case, writing off Forthan's punch as coming in "the heat of the moment."

As just the latest controversy surrounding the LSU signee -- who transferred to Georgetown from Oregon state before her senior year, and is reportedly living in an apartment rumored to be rented by one of the player's coaches -- UIL's failure to bring disciplinary action against the player is just another clear oversight by a body that has been rife with logistical and ethical issues since the start of school in August.

As soon as Forthan steps on the court for the state playoffs in Austin, her case will be just another questionable decision -- or lack of a decision made -- by a state body in desperate need of reform.

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