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Indian Land will appeal League's year probation

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By Robert Howey

Indian Land High School will appeal the South Carolina High School League’s one-year probation for its involvement in an incident with McBee High School in a Conference III-A basketball game Jan. 6.

Warriors’ athletic director Mike Mayer said Indian Land will make its appeal at a meeting of the League’s 18-member executive committee Jan. 29 at the SCHSL’s office in Columbia.

The S.C. High School League is the governing body of interscholastic competition in the Palmetto State.

Mayer said he and Indian Land High School principal Kathy Faris met with Lancaster County School District Superintendent Dr. Gene Moore earlier in the week. Following the meeting, Mayer notified the S.C. High School League of Indian Land High School’s decision to make an appeal regarding the probation, which is for a calendar year.

Mayer said the executive committee will render a decision at the meeting.

“We will know the final verdict when we walk out the door,” Mayer said. “We’re doing everything we can to help our kids.”

The probation bars the Warriors from the Class A boys’ basketball playoffs this season. Indian Land will also be unable to participate in any preseason, or in-season tournaments during the 2009-2010 basketball season. The League also fined Indian Land High School $300.

The school was also given multiple player suspensions, including a 13-player suspension for the Warriors’ Conference III-A game at Great Falls High School on Jan. 9 following the McBee game.

Warriors’ junior forward Tre Harvey’s suspension was later lifted by the League because it appeared he had no intent in being involved with the incident after a review of the game video.

The Warriors, idle since their game at Great Falls last Friday, will have nine players back for IL’s region road game with Chesterfield on Tuesday night

Mayer said McBee received the same sanction – multiple player suspensions, one-year probation and $300 fine.

The incident occurred when Indian Land faced McBee in the Warriors’ Conference III-A home opener.

Midway the third quarter, Indian Land senior player Keyadd Miller was going to the basket on a breakaway play when McBee’s Santonio Wright fouled Miller hard.

As a result of the play, the two players exchanged punches and both benches emptied.

Game officials suspended the game as all players from both teams were ejected from the game.

The two players were ejected for fighting, along with the players in the game.

The players, who left the bench area, were ejected in accordance with S.C. High School League rules regarding participating in a fight by the leaving the bench area during an incident.

Mayer noted coaches from both schools did their part in trying to restrain players from leaving the bench area when the incident occurred.

The following day, school and athletic administrators from Indian Land and McBee high schools met at Indian Land High for two and a half hours and reviewed the incident from the Warriors’ game video. The investigation included taking statements from those involved in the incident.

The meeting included Faris, Mayer along with McBee principal Paul Anderson and Panthers’ athletic director Terry Sowell.

A report on the incident, including the game video, was taken by Mayer to the S.C. High School League office in Columbia later that day.

At the time of the incident, Indian Land held a 40-28 lead, but the game will be recorded as a double forfeit – a loss for each team since play was suspended with the ejection of both teams.

“The incident was unfortunate, and this is the first time we’ve had something happen between Indian Land and McBee in sports,” Mayer said. “The incident was over quickly and we’re glad no fans came out of the stands and were involved.”