Bartow, Jenkins Softball Programs Barred From Hosting Post Season Games
Tue. June 12, 2012 at 10:47 p.m. | By Solange Reyner
By SOLANGE REYNER
LAKELAND | Bartow and George Jenkins' softball programs have been barred from hosting post season games for the next three years, including district tournaments, a punishment handed down by the Florida High School Athletic Association in mid-May because both coaches changed the date of this year's Class 7A, District 7 championship game without informing the FHSAA, Corey Sobers, the organization's media representative, said in an e-mail Tuesday.
The championship game between Jenkins and Bartow, which Bartow eventually won, was scheduled to be played Friday, April 20 at Bartow. It couldn't be completed because of rain, so the date was changed to Saturday morning, a change both schools reported to the FHSAA, Sobers said.
"The schools reported to the FHSAA office that they were going to attempt to play on Saturday morning but the coaches had agreed to play the following Monday night (unbeknownst to the FHSAA)," Sobers wrote.
"The issue for us is Policy 30.1 (sportsmanship and ethics) as far as how the situation was handled."
No fines were levied, but Jenkins and Bartow were also placed on restrictive and administrative probation for three years.
"It was a little bit of miscommunication. We thought we were following the rules and we weren't," Ron Pritchard, Bartow's athletic director said Tuesday.
"We made a mistake and we should have called Mr. Bridges (Polk County athletic director)."
Bartow made a run to the state finals this season, beating Jenkins in a regional game, too.
"Bartow was running the district and we were just going by what the school was telling us," Jestin Bailey, Jenkins' athletic director, said.