High School Sports

Pinecrest, Union Pines barred from state playoffs, on probation

Posted September 2, 2010

The Pinecrest and Union Pines football teams have been barred from the N.C. High School Athletic Association state playoffs.

The NCHSAA reached the decision Thursday after both schools completed their own reviews of a brawl on the field Aug. 27.

Both teams each had three players ejected from the game after a brawl broke out.

The brawl, which caused both benches to clear, happened during a kickoff in the second quarter, according to Kellum Fipps, the booking agent for the Southeastern Officials Association. Fipps said while the ball was in the air, something happened near midfield that sparked the incident.

In addition to being barred from the playoffs, the two schools will be fined $1,000 for players leaving the bench area during a fight. Each player ejected will serve a two game suspension and the programs have been put on probation by the NCHSAA.

"NCHSAA probation is nothing like NCAA probation," said Associate Commissioner Rick Strunk. "This is a common practice that we do so that the schools are aware. If something similar happens again, we will look at the totality of the incident."

Moore County Schools disciplined individual players that were not ejected by officials who also took part in the brawl. The system did not say how many players were involved.

David Whtifield, the Commissioner of the NCHSAA, expressed his appreciation to the schools for their cooperation in conducting through investigations.

"To date, both teams have completed or are in the process of completing the STAR Sportsmanship program, and both schools have taken several additional steps," Whitfield said. "The NCHSAA supports these additional actions taken by the schools."

The STAR Sportsmanship program is an online program that teaches the fundamentals of sportsmanship. Any NCHSAA coach or athlete who is ejected must take part in the course.

Audio has been released by Moore Sports Radio in which the play-by-play announcer says helmets are removed during the brawl.

On Tuesday, video of the incident surfaced.

Tim Lussier, spokesman for Moore County Schools, said Wednesday that the video was turned over to the NCHSAA by a fan. The two high schools had both stated they did not have video of the incident.

The video has not been released to the public.

Dr. Susan Purser, superintendent of the Moore County Schools, said “The altercation between teams that occurred in last Friday’s game between Pinecrest and Union Pines is both unfortunate and regrettable.”

Pinecrest and Union Pines are rival schools in Moore County. Pinecrest won the game 69-14.

Purser said the school system began discussions as soon as the game ended about how to address sportsmanship.

"Our charge is to lead and model appropriate behavior in all situations, and Friday evening's incident is not indicative of the conduct we expect or what we hope to accomplish through our athletic programs," Purser said. "However, it is essential that we learn from such situations and see them as opportunities to grow and do better in the future."


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  • ssgtcharleskilgore Sep 4, 2010

    saw, the tape...and read the comments...really nothing happen here other then kids playing hard...nothing too do with GPA or PPG...pinecrest coach is the best thing that happen too this school. they went from nothing too something. and if you've got a team that can win, it brings in money for the whole school, just not sports. Work hard play hard...the best thing for anyone to do is stop'em. No, playoffs or not, those boys are going too play hard and show that they've got class...keep it up patriots...awesome job last night...

  • flyingcheetah92 Sep 3, 2010

    Legr&denise I am sure that your son is a very well respectable young gentleman. However he did make a pretty big mistake if he was heavily involved in the brawl. I do not know that capacity to which is was involved however he sounds like a very smart young man and should have known the consequences before he got involved.

  • legranddenise Sep 3, 2010

    Let me clarify a statement that I had posted. My son is one of the kids that was in the brawl. He has always been a straight a student he is in honor classes and ap classes. He has won awards for his behavior. If you knew him then u would know he is not a punk are a thug. He has never got in trouble. I am not stating that he was right in what he did and he is learning from his mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes and this is one of those mistakes. Do you mean to tell me that who have not made a mistake.

  • amb1973 Sep 2, 2010

    I was at the game and it all was heated before Union Pines even got to Pinecrest. We got there at 6:10 pm and The game did not start until 7:30 and Pinecrest players were already pumped up running there mouth as my kids and I watched them practice. And we got there early so we would have a parking space. There was so many plays that was ignore by the refs. There was alot of pushing, shoving, hitting and Union Pines being constantly violated and the refs not doing anything even though the fans were yelling what was going on and finally the straw broke. These students were not straight A students I know one of the players on Union Pines side a senior and he is a B, C student and all we kept here him say Was Shut the Bleep up to Pinecrest fans. Then him also telling the young fans ages maybe 12 to shut the Bleep up yea he is a role model NOT and not a straight A student. We all kept telling him to watch his mouth he ignored it. So I think we can point fingers all day and get no where.

  • Viewer Sep 2, 2010

    I vote that complete filming of games from begining to end be a mandatory requirement for each team

  • flyingcheetah92 Sep 2, 2010

    Nick got it. The refs who I would hazard a guess were in attendance at the game were the ones who made the statements that led to it officially being recognized as a bench clearing brawl!

  • Nick Stevens Sep 2, 2010

    "'Bench Clearing Brawl' came from the media not in attendance."

    Actually, that term came from the officials who were officiating the game, the booking agent, and the NCHSAA.

  • Pseudonym Sep 2, 2010

    All kids are punks!! Except mine. They're all angels!!

  • GWALLY Sep 2, 2010

    ..."these kids are a staright A students and has never got in trouble..."

    LOL..yep these "straight A students" (as you call em) are showing up all over the NFL these days!!! It's all those that are around them that are punks from the hood...right???

  • fairmom Sep 2, 2010

    "Bench Clearing Brawl" came from the media not in attendance. Raise your hand now if you were there as a witness or know the players in question. Drama is a great tool to generate interest.