School blamed for poor decision to kick media off sidelines

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

Earlier in November, Prep Rally wrote about the bizarre Georgia high school football playoff game where officials called a whopping 22 penalties in the course of a game and compounded that hyperactive strain by banning all media from the sidelines at halftime.

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Now the Georgia High School Association has delivered a verdict on the incident and -- surprise, surprise -- GHSA is blaming the school which hosted the game, and sparing any blame for the officials who reportedly begged school officials to clear the sideline in the first place.

As reported by by both Augusta ABC affiliate WJBF-TV and OnlineSportsGuys, GHSA has officially deemed that the decision made by Thomson (Ga.) High principal Cecil Strong to kick the entire media throng off the sidelines at halftime was wrong, and can not be repeated in the future.

This comes despite the fact that Strong allegedly banned the media from the sideline after being requested to do so by the referees who were being attacked during the game.

What would happen if Thomson officials unilaterally decided to boot the media from the sidelines in future games? That much remains unclear.

What has been answered is that the GHSA is not going to stand up for the school's right to do so, even if one former Thomson coach said the design of Thomson's "Brickyard" stadium make Strong's decision to get rid of the media understandable, particularly after a first half sideline violation penalty was called against Thomson because of a crowded sideline.

"The sidelines at the Brickyard are very narrow and the school was just trying to do what they though was in their best interest," the unnamed former coach told WJBF-TV.

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