IHSA denies Farragut’s appeal of double forfeit ruling

Farragut's Mikell Jones (21) takes time off the clock against Kenwood, Thursday 02-07-19. Worsom Robinson/For Sun-Times
Farragut's Mikell Jones (21) takes time off the clock against Kenwood, Thursday 02-07-19. Worsom Robinson/For Sun-Times

The Illinois High School Association’s board of directors has denied Farragut’s appeal of the double forfeit ruling.

A brawl broke out in the final minute of the Class 3A sectional final between Farragut and North Lawndale on Friday. The IHSA ruled the game a double forfeit and disqualified both teams from the state playoffs.

Farragut filed an appeal on Monday in an attempt to convince the IHSA to let them play against DePaul Prep in the Class 3A super sectionals on Tuesday. The Admirals hoped to either complete the remaining time in the game or be declared the winner because they were ahead when the game was stopped. Monday afternoon the IHSA board sustained the ruling made by Craig Anderson, the IHSA executive director, on Friday evening.

“Game officials and tournament management indicated…that both benches had emptied and multiple players were involved in the fighting,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. “Both actions, leaving the bench and fighting, are immediate ejections per the NFHS rulebook, and require a one-game suspension per IHSA rules. We saw no possibility for either team to have enough eligible players to complete the game or field a roster for the next round. That report was later verified via video. Furthermore, we wanted to send the message that we will not let fighting in high school contests become accepted or the norm. These are dangerous situations that require serious consequences.”

North Lawndale released a statement on Sunday that the incident was unacceptable. Farragut has not released any official comment to the media.

The Admirals led North Lawndale, the sectional host, 54-50 with 41 seconds left in the game. A Farragut player went up for a dunk and was undercut by a North Lawndale player. That set off the brawl, which involved players and fans.

“It was crazy as hell,” a Farragut source said. “It is sad the way it went down.”

“After speaking to game management and the game officials, the IHSA ruled the contest a double-forfeit and it was never concluded,” Anderson said in a statement released late Friday night. “These are never easy decisions to make, but we believe it is the correct one. It is vital that we continue to send the message that incidents like this at high school contests will not be tolerated. They are unacceptable in society, no less a high school sporting event.”

In a radio interview on Saturday, Anderson said there would likely be additional penalties leveled against Farragut and North Lawndale next season.

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  • JD

    Both teams should be disqualified and this was the right call. Fighting does not have any place in the IHSA and there should be a zero tolerance policy. Shame on the coaches and administration for not being able to control their players and fans. Congrats to DePaul on their downstate bid!!!

  • PistolPete44

    Well…..I do not understand what the Farragut appeal was all about. You see, they surely realize you cannot pick and choose what IHSA rules you want to follow. The old rule that says you must sit the next game after leaving the bench has been in place a long time. Guess they forgot to read the rule book one more time before they requested an appeal.

  • Joe Matalone

    I bet if this was Stevenson vs. Fremd we would have nothing but lawyers filing lawsuits this past Monday and the IHSA would have caved.

    • M

      Stevenson and Fremd have administrators and coaches that won’t tolerate this as do 99% of the high schools in the state. Some of the CPS schools can’t/won’t do anything about these types of things. Kids do what they are allowed to do. This is on the adults especially since this is not the first time these teams have been involved in these types of issues.

      • carl Hampton

        I went to New Trier in the 70’s and played in a football game with Morton East (Cicero) that was called off because there was a huge fight during the last 4 minutes of the 4th quarter. We were ahead 45-0 and the refs called the game. The started the fight, lost the fight and lost the game.

    • West sub fan

      When was the last time one of those two schools did anything like that
      Now ask the same question about those teams

  • Steve A

    I think the Ihsa should have not scheduled a playoff game at the school especially when both teams are from not that far apart

    • Paul

      Poor excuse. There are other regionals at nearby schools where rival schools play one another. Morgan Park vs Bogan at St Laurence. Poor excuse. Keep trying. Blame others instead of the coaches and players.

  • ML

    Double disqualification is the right call. The issue needs to be addressed. Bad behavior and fights at games have to stop. No justification for the fight. It is a foul, shoot the free throws and move on. Compete hard, respect your opponent and play the game. Teachable moment for kids.

  • jgm

    Sure doesn’t look like he intentional submarined him, I don’t know. The quick reaction by players into brawl mode is concerning. Coaches gotta go because that displays no discipline or control. Unfortunately, too many crappy role models out there today. Coaches should have total control of their players, however.

  • Sammy

    Hmmmmm. Now that I know it was 41 seconds left, and the game was decided for the most part, I need to know if all the kids left the benches before I agree with the decision. Farragut has the most to lose. I reserve my opinion until I see the film. It would have to convince me that so many players left the bench that there wouldn’t be enough players eligible for the next game. I reserve my opinion.

    • jgm

      Four points with :41 secs is anything but decided. Colorado St, a few years ago in tourney, down 14 with :35 secs left and tied it up at buzzer.

    • JimmyV


      How much clearer could it be?

      “Game officials and tournament management indicated…that both benches had emptied and multiple players were involved in the fighting,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. “

    • South 'Burb Guy

      I saw the film…every player in uniform, from both teams, was on the floor…end of story. Hope they both don’t get disqualified from next year’s tournament

  • Jaz

    Farragut should be disqualified all they do is fight. That young man was not bridged or undercut. He let go of the rim but he sure likes to push people out the air when they are dunking. Farragut coaches condones this type of behavior. The coaches needs to go.

  • Ron

    Free the Admirals. This is a disgrace. North Lawndale should be ashamed of themselves. They were about to lose a game so they sabotaged a great group of kids that have worked so hard to get to a super sectional. Makes me sick!

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