Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

ACD Is Investigated for Conduct after Loss

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

ACD Is Investigated for Conduct after Loss

Article excerpt

The Florida High School Activities Association is investigating the conduct of the Arlington Country Day boys basketball team following its Class 2A state title-game loss to North Palm Beach Benjamin on Saturday in Lakeland.

Several Apaches players left the court after receiving their runner-up medals and did not return for the winner's ceremony.

It has been a long-standing protocol of the FHSAA, the governing body of Florida high school athletics, for both teams to be present during the ceremony. An eyewitness said he witnessed several Arlington Country Day players throw their runner-up medals into a trash can.

"It's under review," said Ron Allen, an associate commissioner for the FHSAA. "We [the FHSAA] were not very impressed."

Pete Thomson, who was working with Sunshine Network covering the state championships, said he saw the medals go into the garbage.

"I saw five to eight Arlington Country Day players throw their medals into a trash can right next to our Sunshine Network truck [located in the garage] near the locker rooms," Thomson said.

Fred Lichtward, the headmaster at Arlington Country Day, said the FHSAA contacted his school yesterday.

"This has been blown out of proportion," Lichtward said. "There are some people out there who do not think the best of us."

Lichtward said one his players took off his shirt after the loss and cursed, which prompted Lichtward to remove the player from the court.

He acknowledged that one of the team's assistant coaches threw his medal in the trash. He also said two medals he was to give to staff members were placed on a chair and somehow ended up in the trash can.

As for not attending the winner's presentations, Lichtward said an Apaches assistant coach did not inform the players they had to stay on the court.

"The only thing I know is that I didn't go to the coaches' meeting Wednesday," said Arlington Country Day coach Rex Morgan. "I sent an assistant, and that assistant never told our players they had to stay for the winners' ceremony. I think there should be a cooling off period after these games. …

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