NORTH MASSAPEQUA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A Long Island high school football coach is being punished — for winning a game.
The coach drew a one-game suspension from a Nassau County school sports committee because it’s apparently OK to win — but not if you score too many points doing it.
Plainedge High School coach Robert Shaver was suspended following last Friday’s game against South Side High School in Rockville Centre. Nassau’s “Section 8 Lopsided Score Committee” decided Shaver’s Red Devils should have avoided defeating their opponent by a score of 61-13.
Simply put, Shaver was publicly scolded because his team was too good that night and the coach is being accused of running up the score to embarrass another school.
The committee reportedly reviews any margin of victory greater than 42 points. In their review of the Oct. 25 game, those officials claimed the North Massapequa coach should have pulled his starting players from the field and played his backups in the 4th quarter.
The ruling outraged the highest school officials at Plainedge High, who slammed the panel and their call to discipline Shaver.
“I can state for the record that their rule is not working. I am all for treating everyone justly, but it is my opinion that Coach Shaver was ‘done wrong’ by this group of self-professed experts on sportsmanship,” Plainedge Public School Superintendent Edward Salina said in a statement.
“Who appointed these people to run this kangaroo court, being the judge, jury, and executioners? I have knowledge that there are cases in Nassau County where the score was over 42 and this group took little or no action,” Salina continued.
The school added that they are not planning to appeal the suspension because losing their challenge would mean Coach Shaver would then be suspended from coaching Plainedge in the high school championship finals.
According to multiple reports, Shaver told the committee he kept his starters in the game for a seemingly good reason — South Side High School was undefeated entering Friday’s contest. The coach added that he feared a Cyclones comeback if he benched his best student athletes against such a talented opponent.
An official with the National Federation of State High School Associations says in most places lopsided wins are typically handled by running out the clock or by just stopping play — not by punishing a coach for “too much” success.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)