Eight Monticello Basketball Players Suspended for Season Finale

February 9, 2012

The Monticello boys basketball team had to play Thursday night's regular season finale without eight suspended players.

The players were suspended for one game for leaving the bench area in the midst of Tuesday night's incident during the Mustangs' game against Charlottesville.

The Mustangs lost 58-57 at George Wythe without the suspended players.

Scrimmage Play was the first to report the suspensions on Thursday afternoon. The decision was made after school officials reviewed video of Tuesday's incident.

“A lot of them didn’t know the rule and after I explained it to them they understood,” Monticello athletic director Fitzgerald Barnes told Scrimmage Play. “Those eight players will not play in our next varsity contest.”

No CHS players face any disciplinary action, Charlottesville athletic director Rick Lilly said Thursday.

Multiple attempts by CBS19 to reach Barnes on Thursday afternoon were unsuccessful.

The suspended players are now eligible to rejoin Monticello for next week's Jefferson District semifinal game against either Powhatan or Western Albemarle. Those two teams meet Friday in the district quarterfinals.

According to the Mustangs' original schedule, Tuesday's game against Charlottesville was supposed to be Monticello's regular season finale, meaning the eight suspended players would have missed next week's playoff game.

But the Mustangs scheduled Thursday's trip to Wythe earlier this week, according to Barnes, after being unable to reschedule a game against Fauquier County that had been postponed in January.

“We needed to help our winning percentage in the region,” he told Scrimmage Play. “The VHSL allows you to play 22 games and we’d played 20. There are a few teams locked around 15-7 and 15-8 and overall winning percentage (can) determine seeding.”

According to school representatives, Tuesday's game was stopped as a precaution after an incident involving parents and fans entering the court. It was later called off since it had no impact on the final district standings.

No injuries were reported, and school officials said it was not a "physical fight".

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