Riverdale and Smyrna girls basketball teams have been removed from the Region 4AAA tournament. The ruling came from the TSSAA after both teams tryed to throw the district tournament consolation game...
That was NewsRadio WGNS' Bryan Barrett, who along with Jon Dinkins, called the game on the radio. The removal from the region tournament, in effect, ends their season. That along with the TSSAA placing both teams on restrictive probation. That means they can't participate in the postseason this year and are on probation next year. This is the only year they'll be removed from the playoffs. Being placed on restrictive probation this year means the programs are also fined $1,000 each. The schools are also placed on probation throughout the 2015-2016 season and each fined an additional $500 (see the letter from the TSSAA below).
The consolation game, who by Smyrna, 55-29, was full of intentional miscues. The loser of the game would avoid a potential region semifinal matchup with defending state and national champion Blackman. Intentional over and back violations, missed free throws and even trying to shoot at the wrong goal.
Riverdale coach Cory Barrett tweeted "I would like to sincerely apologize to the Riverdale family and everyone involved for the situation that has happened. It was never my intent to disrespect the game or its integrity. I take full responsibility for our program and its actions. I have and always will be about our kids first. I ask that you please support them in this difficult time".
Smyrna coach Shawn Middleton, in a letter emailed to NewsRadio WGNS, said "I would like to publically apologize to the community of Smyrna and Rutherford County for not being a proper leader. I should have done the right thing from the beginning. Kids have always been a top priority in my life and that will never change. Smyrna is a big part of my family's life. I am sincerely sorry for my actions".
The schools can, in addition, take further disciplinary actions against the coaches. Barrett has been suspended for the first two games of next season by Riverdale principal Tom Nolan, who tweeted "I would like to apologize to our students, parents and our community for the unsportsmanlike conduct and disrespect of the game".
Likewise, Smyrna principal Rick Powell tweeted "On behalf of Smyrna High School, I would like to apologize to our parents, students and fans for our conduct during the district tournament".