Posted: 12:56 pm Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Correction on Trinity Christian baseball situation 

By Jason Lieser

I need to correct what I wrote about the ongoing issue between Trinity Christian and the Florida High School Athletic Association earlier this week.

Only one part of the ordeal will be resolved Sunday. The overall dispute will not be settled that quickly.

The matter under review Sunday involves only the fines the FHSAA assessed for the incident between Trinity Christian’s baseball team and Miami Brito Private last May. The FHSAA penalized Trinity Christian $250 for each of the five players ruled to have committed gross unsportsmanlike offenses and another $100 each for nine other players ruled to have committed standard unsportsmanlike offenses.

Trinity Christian is appealing those fines.

So the total figure at stake Sunday is $2,150 — not the $35,000 (or more) I originally mentioned.

The $35,000 fine will remain in question beyond Sunday.

When a St. Lucie County courthouse granted Trinity Christian an injunction against the FHSAA’s suspensions, it also prevented the FHSAA from fining the school. The injunction remains in place, thus the FHSAA can not legally fine the school.

If the FHSAA seeks to have the injunction removed and is successful in doing so, then the $35,000 fine (plus the FHSAA’s legal fees) will come down on Trinity Christian.

The FHSAA suspended 16 of Trinity Christian’s 17 varsity baseball players after an altercation with Brito Miami Private in the Class 1A regional finals.

Brito player Daniel Bolanos delivered a hard blow to Trinity Christian catcher Phildrick Llewellyn while trying to score and the collision sparked an incident that resulted in a 29-minute delay.

Umpires ejected five players from each side, but in their official report to the FHSAA, they stated that every Trinity Christian player in the field left his position. They also wrote that all of the Warriors’ players in the dugout entered the playing field. The standard FHSAA suspension for those actions is two games, which ruled out the entire varsity roster for the state semifinals.

The FHSAA has the power to lengthen or shorten those penalties after review.
Llewellyn later was reinstated because he was knocked unconscious and never left the home plate area.

The day before Trinity Christian was to play in the Class 1A state semifinal at Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie, the FHSAA handed down four-game suspensions to the five ejected players (Jacob Johnson, Jonathan Groezinger, Adaric Kelly, Brandon Murray and Richard Bain) and two-game bans to everyone other than Llewellyn.