It was big news for 2 weeks, it dominated the boards and water cooler discussions for days and then it kind of faded to the back ground.
Initially most of us thought that the ruling would be reversed. After all here we had two of the top programs in the state and two of the most respected coaches in the entire state. And to top it off, the
During the past 2 months, both Northwestern and Marlboro had established new programs and procedures to enrich their student athlete's lives. The leadership of the schools stood up and changes were made. Students were suspended from future games. Procedures were enacted and everyone that saw this Character Enrichment Program was impressed.
Football players were seen reading to children, they were involved in community service projects, soup kitchens and pantries were helped and many of the less fortunate in Bennettsville and
Then 3 weeks ago,
More information was then learned by SCPP. The initial decision back in September by the
Last night a different source shared this information with us. The Executive Committee felt they had no choice but to uphold the decisions. If the
After problems that had occurred in other football games, in basketball games, and in soccer games, the
It appears that the SCHLS was presented with a golden opportunity to make a strong statement and they jumped all over it. The brawl between 2 high profile teams, 2 teams that played for a state title, presented incredibly strong press coverage and public outrage. After years of progressively worse behavior from fans, players and coaches, the
Last week I spoke with Coach Boyd about the pending meeting (repeated attempts were made to contact Coach Wallace unsuccessfully) He was hopeful and thought Marlboro had a strong case. He was hopeful for the community, the school and the team. One thing he said really stuck out to me. Boyd stated "regardless what happens Monday, I think we are all better people and we have come so far from this……………We have learned more about ourselves as men than we ever learned about ourselves as football players……………. I think future teams will benefit from what we have done to make our team and school stronger"
To me that speaks volumes. Mistakes were made by Marlboro and Northwestern. There are no innocents here and both teams equally share the blame. But I have always believed that the character of a man is judged by what he learns from his mistakes and how he reacts. In this case Marlboro has acted admirably and should be commended.
But that does not erase the earlier misdeeds. The punishment and ruling are fair and just. It is tough, no doubt. It hurts the seniors who will never wear the pads again. It hurts the fans whom support the teams passionately and it hurt the schools that lose a home gate for the playoffs. Other sports teams will suffer with the loss off tens of thousands of dollars.
Some have said it is not fair since only a few were involved and not the whole team. But that does not hold water. Teams win and lose, cry and laugh, hurt and heal, and live together as a TEAM. When teams win championships everyone down to the last man on the 4th string gets a medal. All are listed in the roster and all players have the same rules to go by. Unfortunately some innocents are punished but that is the nature of team sports.
Last season the