Sunday, July 21, 2019

Update - TSSAA Upholds Haywood Penalty

Having barred Haywood High School Baseball from the 2020 and 2021 postseasons after head coach Jeff 'Dusty' Rhodes' on-field hysterics complete with kicking at and physically berating an umpire after a balk call, the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) entertained an appeal from Haywood HS that the penalty was too harsh.

After Rhodes' exorbitantly unsportsmanlike ejection in May, TSSAA initially referred the matter to Haywood HS to afford the school an opportunity to address its coach's conduct via supplemental discipline. The school responded by proposing a two-game suspension and $250 fines for Rhodes and assistant coach Alex Whitwell.

Rhodes pursued several umpires after the call.
Despite deeming these penalties inadequate, TSSAA noted that its bylaws prohibit the association from suspending school employees, but do allow TSSAA to punish programs. As such, the state association banned the team from two postseasons and institute a two-year probation, citing Haywood principal Latonya Jackson's inadequate response in issuing an underwhelming two-game suspension to Rhodes.

TSSAA Executive Director Bernard Childress wrote about this strong decision: "The administration was given ample opportunity to address this unfortunate incident but chose to only enforce what the bylaws require. Principals and coaches must realize that they have more responsibilities than the general public to understand the purpose of high school athletics and the principals behind the TSSAA rules, and they must maintain that level of understanding and purpose when dealing with the general public and students."
Related PostTSSAA Sends Message After Coach's Ump Kick (5/31/19).

Haywood appealed that TSSAA's penalty was unfair, and now the West Tennessee TSSAA Board of Control has ruled on the school's appeal: Denied, Sanctions Upheld. TSSAA wrote that Rhodes' behavior is "not appropriate at the high school level," while the umpire's ejection report conflicted with Rhodes' initial statement that he was "never confined to the dugout or warned by the umpire." The game report indicated Rhodes had been restricted to the dugout. And now the team has been restricted from the 2020 and 2021 postseason.

Video of Ejection as follows:

Alternate Link: Haywood HS Coach Dusty Rhodes's tirade at a high school umpire


Post a Comment