McKinley High athletes want playoff suspension waived
BATON ROUGE - A couple dozen students and parents attended a closed-door meeting Monday evening with McKinley High officials about recent sanctions from the state athletic board.
"If we can't go to the playoffs then what are we still doing here?" asked sophomore and basketball player Carlyle Smith.
Last year, a number of athletic programs at the school failed to properly document participating students. The Louisiana High School Athletic Association suspended the school's entire coaching staff for a year, suspended students from participating in post-season playoff games, banned returning student athletes from transferring to other schools, and fined McKinley High School more than $40,000.
"It is disappointing," said incoming principal Esrom Pitre. "We are looking at appealing that two-year suspension and we'll see what happens."
Pitre is hiring new coaches for the upcoming year.
McKinley's appeal will be held in September. If unsuccessful, Pitre says school officials will help student-athletes work through the fallout.
Sophomore Carlyle Smith said he will still try hard on the basketball court. "We still have to play. Even if we won't go to a playoff, we can still be undefeated and make a name for ourselves," he said.