Why couldn't Live Oak's band play at halftime? They travel 4 hours to the game and deserve to play at half
She also asserted that not following her itinerary would result in removal from the field,
which had gotten out to her student body.
Tut was aggressive to her.
I am a school administrator.
If it is the same in HS, the Principle had ZERO authority to take any action.
Her defense during the hearing was as principal, she has the right to override the Lhsaa handbook and that Tut was aggressive to her. The hearing is going to cost her 3-5k and losing a playoff could cost thousands more.
Baton Rouge — State high school athletics authorities Thursday sanctioned the principal of Parkway High School and banned her football team from home playoff games next season for decisions that led to the Live Oak head coach being placed in handcuffs prior to a game Nov. 9.
At the same time, a three-member panel of principals from the Louisiana High School Athletic Association Executive Committee commended Live Oak head football coach Barry “Tut” Musemeche, as well as Parkway head coach David Feaster, for their responsible handling of the crisis. Both coaches decided to have their teams shake hands on the field just before kickoff for the first round playoff contest to defuse tensions.
Principal Nichole Bourgeois was reprimanded by the LHSAA committee, she and her school were placed on one year probation and she was required to attend a handbook certification class. Her school is also ordered to revise pre-game procedures with its band and pay for the entire expense of the six-hour administrative hearing held at the request of Live Oak at LHSAA headquarters.
Bourgeois accompanied law enforcement officers to the field while Live Oak was warming up to force Musemeche to remove his team for the home school band that was scheduled to perform before kickoff. When Musemeche ignored the instructions, a Bossier City Police officer handcuffed the coach and led him off the field. He was subsequently released and allowed to coach the team in the 36-13 loss by the Eagles. He has since filed a lawsuit against Bourgeois, the Bossier Parish School System and Bossier City Police.
At the Sportsmanship hearing called at the request of Live Oak principal Tracy McRae, Bourgeois denied ordering the officers to handcuff the coach.
“The only time the word ‘cuffs’ came out of my mouth was to request that he be uncuffed,” Bourgeois told the committee. “I wanted him to be able to coach his team to play the game.”
Musemeche told a different version of the story and brought a photo presentation to back it up showing the principal alongside the two officers in the act of handcuffing him.
“I will go to my grave knowing exactly what the principal of Parkway High School said,” Musemeche told the committee. “‘Cuff him. Get him off the field, Cuff him.’”
The coach then showed a series of time-stamped photographs taken by a Live Oak fan showing that all this occurred prior to 6:45 p.m., when the Parkway band was scheduled to perform. Meanwhile, that band had been standing around the perimeter of the visitors’ side of the field since 6:15 p.m., which interfered with normal warmup activities, the coach said.
Bourgeois later admitted that she intended for the field to be unoccupied between 6:35 p.m. and 6:45 p.m., when the Parkway team finished its warmups, and felt allowing the Eagles to stay after that would give Live Oak an unfair advantage. LHSAA rules has no requirement that competing teams follow identical warmup routines and gives no authority to principals to regulate that. Her attempt to control warmups was one of a series of decisions the principal made unilaterally in violation of LHSAA rules, the committee determined.
During the week prior to the game, she informed Live Oak that its band would not be permitted to perform at halftime, but could have the 10-minute slot on the field between 6:35 and 6:45 p.m. Live Oak band director Brian Feigles testified that he gave up his time so the football team could follow its normal routine. Bourgeois also decided to extend the halftime by five minutes for her school’s band.
“In the actual planning of the game, it’s supposed to be a shared responsibility,” LHSAA Commissioner Kenny Henderson told her. “All of those things are supposed to be agreed upon.”
Bourgeois contended that McRae’s begrudging deference to her decision to relegate the Live Oak band to a pre-game performance constituted an agreement.
More ominous were photos pulled from the Internet that McRae presented to the committee showing Parkway students making fun of the situation by posing in the stands with handcuffs. She said when Musemeche was being led away, the pressbox played the song “Here Comes Goodbye,” indicating that the mistreatment of the Live Oak coach might have been planned.
Bourgeois had no explanation for the photo, said she had not seen it before and did not monitor student postings on the Internet.
Musemeche also showed photos of a police officer removing his cuffs to recuff him, claiming the officer instead tightened a cuff to provoke a reaction. Musemeche said he never cursed or raised his voice and was respectful to the officers, giving them no reason to cuff him since he was never charged with anything. That testimony was not contradicted.
The officers involved were not allowed to testify Thursday because of the pending lawsuit. Two Livingston Parish Sheriff’s escorts for the Live Oak team testified that they had tried to find out what was happening, but did not interfere with the Bossier authorities. Other school officials and coaches said they too backed away when ordered to do so. Assistant Coach Robbie Mahfouz took over control of the team temporarily until Musemeche was allowed to return.
In her closing statement, McRae asked whether the events were intended to intimidate and bully the Live Oak team and supporters and asked the LHSAA to “send a message” that such behavior will not be tolerated.
Bourgeois likened her role in hosting the event as similar to the LHSAA when it hosts the Superdome Classic state championship weekend and asked whether the LHSAA would tolerate a coach staying on the field there when ordered to leave. She said Musemeche had been instructed to leave at least 13 times through PA announcements and direct requests.
Musemeche said he only heard one PA announcement and chose to ignore it because he was busy doing his job. Earlier in the week he had told Feaster his intentions of warming up and suggested Feaster had no objection. Feaster said he never gave his permission either and told Musemeche he needed to talk to the principal.
Testimony also revealed that school officials had tried to persuade the head game official to instruct Musemeche to leave the field. The official refused to get involved.
Last week when Parkway hosted Barbe for a quarterfinal playoff game, the school designated an area outside the stadium for the team to continue warming up after 6:35 p.m.
Parkway has 15 days from the date of the hearing to appeal the ruling to the Commissioner and the full Executive Committee.