Twice in the past year, the Florida High School Athletic Association has delivered astoundingly high financial penalties to schools whose athletic programs violated state regulations. After a similar football team stepped out of line during summer practices, it's become clear that the North Carolina High School Athletic Association is nowhere near as punitive.
According to the News & Observer, South Johnston (N.C.) High was fined a grand total of just $400 for using illegal equipment and incorporating full contact during designated seven-on-seven workout days in the month of July. In addition to the $400 fine, the school was also handed down a one-year probationary sentence, though that probation will not have any bearing on the school's postseason availability.
The penalties handed down Monday conclude an investigation into the South Johnston program, a process which presaged the departure of head football coach Joe Salas, who resigned in turmoil in July. After Salas' departure, star running back Unek Lloyd (pictured above) and the Trojans cut off all scheduled workouts from July 13-29, a move which appears to have appeased NCHSAA officials and inspired the more lenient sentence.
"Any additional violation of NCHSAA rules during this time period may result in further review and additional penalties," Johnston County Schools published in a release.
While the penalties imposed on South Johnston may be effective, they also stand in stark contrast to the punitive measures taken just three states to the South. In Florida, FHSAA fined one school a whopping $142,500 for "recruiting violations" and another school $57,000 for fielding wrestlers who lived outside the school district's prescribed boundaries.
Sure, the Florida punishments were tied to acts that were more severe than the missteps taken by South Johnson, but were the Florida actions more than 130 times and 325 times worse, respectively? Clearly not.
All of that points to just how fickle state administrations are regarding enforcement, punishment and any number of other day-to-day regulatory actions. While Prep Rally is hardly qualified to determine who is closer to an adequate level for prep sports enforcement, logic would stand to reason that a good starting point would be somewhere in the middle of what Floridian and North Carolinian authorities have proffered up in the past 12 months.