Eight Monticello boys players set to serve one-game suspension

After a video review and investigation of Tuesday’s incident at Monticello High during the third quarter of the school’s varsity basketball game with Charlottesville High between members of each team, it appears eight Monticello players will serve a one-game suspension for leaving the bench area during the contest.

Upon video review it was determined that no Charlottesville players exited the bench area before the teams went to the locker room and the gym was cleared.

That video review included a representative from the Virginia High School League giving an opinion on the matter after reviewing the tape. The League’s representative agreed that nothing between the players — outside of the Monticello bench stepping on the court — warranted a suspension. There was no punching or fighting that necessitated action.

The players could’ve and should’ve been ejected by the officials present at the game. According to Barnes, there is some precedent for the VHSL to step in and over rule the officials after the fact if that wasn’t done, but Monticello went ahead and volunteered to suspend the players for one game without any VHSL action.

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

With no players suspended, Charlottesville will have a full roster in Friday’s Jefferson District quarterfinal when the Black Knights host Louisa County at 7:30 p.m.

Monticello is slated to play George Wythe High in Richmond tonight at 5:30 in a game that was added this week.

“We needed to help our winning percentage in the region,” Barnes said.  “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.”

Barnes also noted the Mustangs, which won seven in a row coming into the eventual Tuesday forfeit, were eager to get a game in instead of waiting until Wednesday to play again.

Inclement weather forced the cancellation of a game on January 21 against an Evergreen District opponent.

“We were scheduled to play Fauquier and we tried to set that up this week, but they’re in a district playoff,” Barnes said. “So we called George Wythe.”

The game will be played by several original members of the varsity roster prior to the eight one-game suspensions that were handed down, the players who were not suspended based on video evidence and a group of junior varsity players. The suspended eight players who left the bench area Tuesday during the incident against Charlottesville will in turn be eligible for the Mustangs’ Jefferson District tournament semifinal game at Western Albemarle Wednesday against the Powhatan/Western winner in the quarterfinals.