Posted: 11:35 am Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

FHSAA updates on controversial football games 

By Jason Lieser

There were two football games this season that did not end with someone kneeling out the clock or celebrating at midfield. They actually occurred (or were supposed to occur, at least) in the same week.

The Sept. 17 game featuring Boynton Beach at Atlantic ended 7 minutes prematurely when an off-field incident prompted coaches and officials to clear the field. As expected, the Florida High School Athletic Association officially ruled that a win for Atlantic (2-2). We have been counting it as a win in the newspaper because it was the probable outcome from the beginning.

It gets a little murkier when the FHSAA looks at the Royal Palm Beach vs. Palm Beach Gardens that originally was scheduled for Sept. 18. Palm Beach Gardens was hit with a rash of injuries and illness and canceled the game because it said it could not field a varsity team.

By rule, that game should count as a forfeiture by Palm Beach Gardens. If that is enforced, it would count as a win for Royal Palm Beach and it would automatically eliminate the Gators from the playoffs.

Because of the circumstances, however, the FHSAA could grant Palm Beach Gardens a waiver for the forfeiture. In that case, the game would simply not count and both teams would play nine-game regular seasons.

The third option, from what I’ve been told by the FHSAA, is that these teams could be forced to make up the game. That seems to be the least likely outcome, but the FHSAA has a history of doing unlikely things. Both schools already have had their bye week.

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