Fairness was finally embraced by the IHSAA as it amended punishments levied against various parties within the Southport High School’s boys basketball program.
The Cardinals will be able to play in the state basketball tourney after all, while coach Eric Brand’s suspension will be extended from January until the end of the season.
The initial penalties arose when Brand wrote a check that covered the tuition that allowed a 6’6″ young man from the Congo to attend Southport. The IHSAA correctly ruled the young man ineligible to compete as a member of the Southport basketball team. Brand was suspended for a brief period, and a postseason ban for the team was levied.
The punishment was adjusted hours prior to an appeals hearing that was scheduled for this afternoon. The statement from the IHSAA cited “new information” and a “spirit of compromise” as drivers for the change.
It is assumed that Brand volunteered to extend his suspension if the postseason ban for his team was lifted. The IHSAA listened and the adjustment was made to spare the students.
In this age of societal aversion to accepting a middle ground solution, it’s great to see the right thing done by a coach who violated rules as well as an organization that initially hit the wrong target in the punishment phase.
Teachers, coaches and those who govern them need to set an example for students, and everyone involved here did that in the end by exercising reason and embracing justice.