Coach Escapes Penalty

September 26, 2018

A high school football coach in Ohio will not be sanctioned for removing his team from the field in the first quarter of a game in September. 

According to The News-Herald, at about six minutes and 37 seconds into Friday's game against Kirtland, Richmond Heights (Ohio) High School football coach Tim Gorham pulled his team from the field and boarded a bus bound for home. Renee Willis, Superintendent of Richmond Heights Schools, received word from an official from the Ohio High School Athletic Association a few days later that there would be no action taken against the coach.

“I got the feeling they went through the situation and they looked at what rules were or could have been violated,” Willis said. “Since there was nothing violated, there was no ruling or sanction by them. … Coaches are sanctioned when they are ejected. Our coach was not ejected, so there’s nothing.”

Willis said that the Richmond team arrived with 17 players, compared to 74 for their opponents, and when one of the Richmond players suffered a concussion, the team was unsure whether they could continue.

“When parents are saying to not put their child (in the game), you have no options,” Willis said. “As a school district, I’m not telling a parent, ‘I’m putting your child (in the game).’ Because our numbers are so small, when you have four parents say, ‘Don’t put my child in,’ then you don’t have enough players to line up.”

Willis said that even though there were few players on the team, she had no plans to shut down the football program.

“Our football program will continue, and we will continue to build it,” she said.

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