We’ve entered new territory with the new and improved 50-point score management policy.
What to do about Norwich Free Academy coach Jemal Davis following his team’s 51-0 victory over Stamford?
According to The Day of New London’s Mike DiMauro here’s what went down: Stamford coach Bryan Hocter declined a running clock, NFA kept its starters in throughout a majority of the second half, starting tailback Marcus Outlow scored a touchdown to make it 49-0. NFA went over 50 points when a player blocked a punt for a safety with three minutes remaining.
These developments toe the ‘Score management’ policy’s guidelines in a way I haven’t seen since the policy’s inception in 2006.
But should Davis sit next week?
I say yes.
- Stamford coach Bryan Hocter was not happy with the blocked punt, though he qualified his displeasure by saying he wasn’t sure it was intentional. Davis says his player made a mistake.
Iffy, especially since Hocter declined a running clock, but Davis went over the 50-point barrier. That’s strike one.
- Hocter wasn’t as diplomatic about NFA’s use of Outlow and the offensive line late into the game.
“I’m a little annoyed that No. 21 (Outlow) was in basically the whole entire game and so was most of the offensive line,” Hocter told DiMauro. “At this point in time, I’m not really OK with it. I thought it was a little classless on his part to do that. … Stuff like that comes back to bite you. You can’t embarrass a team. I thought he was trying to embarrass us. If he did, he did. We’ll go back and lick our wounds and try to get better.”
Later, Hocter reiterated his stance with our own Dave Ruden: “He is totally in the wrong. …I think he should be [suspended]. The guy’s got no class.”
OK, so opposing coach disapproves of the offending coach’s method, calls him ‘classless’: Strike two against Davis.
- Davis wasn’t exactly contrite when asked to explain himself.
“I don’t think we did anything inappropriate,” Davis told The Day. “It’s a product of the game and performance of our players. I can’t be upset at my kids. If I have to sit, that’s fine. Our job is to prepare them.”
His position is arguable, absolutely. But there were no apologies, nor any intent to keep the score down? That’s strike three.
So, CIAC Committee, whaddya got?
If ‘Score Management’ is truly the law of the land, Davis should be suspended. There’s a barrier, Davis crossed it, didn’t seem to care that he crossed it and Stamford coach Bryan Hocter agreed he didn’t care.
Davis can lecture about getting his kids ready for the playoffs until he’s pink, blue, green and red in the face. The policy strictly forbids his late-game actions.
I hate the policy. I believe Davis is well within his right to coach his team as he sees fit, and Hocter is within his right to be ticked about it. But the rules are the rules. This didn’t follow it. End of discussion.
So, what now CIAC Football Committee? If you don’t suspend Davis, the rule loses all credibility and should be scrapped ASAP. But, hey, 51 points, 50 points… what’s the difference? It wasn’t a gross violation, right? After all, Hocter refused a running clock.
And was it any different than Newtown scoring on a short pass with a minute left in its 47-21 victory over Oxford?
I’ll argue no, it’s all semantics at that stage of the game. If Davis is suspended, now it looks hypocritical and misguided.
We’ll see how this plays out come Monday.
Either way, this is how I believe the CIAC should proceed: Scrap the damn policy.
That is all.