August 29, 2010
As of Sunday afternoon (8/29), the game officials were scheduled to meet to compare notes on the game since PC or UP both claim that there was no tape of the fight, but I'm sure there were some parents who did videotape the fight. But I'm finding it hard to believe that the schools both claim that they have no videotapes. If only WRAL or WTVD could have been at the game.
As for the game itself, it was a PC rout as expected, though UP had some bright spots. In regards to schedules, PC and UP both play weak non-conference schedules and probably have one of the weakest non-conference schedules in their respective classifications.
I hope that this incident will not end the "Battle of the Pines" rivalry or cause both schools to quit playing each other in football. Both coaching staffs get along with each other for the most part, and, in general, PC and UP folks get along fairly well. A handful of "bad apples" should not spoil the whole barrel in regards to this annual game that came back in 2001. I am thankful no spectators got involved in the fight and was glad that both teams got through the post-game handshakes without incident. And, with any kind of rivalry game, there will always be a few folks who will try to "spoil the party" and ruin the fun.
Also, I hope this game continues as it is a huge money maker irregardless of whether the game is played at UP or PC. Scotland County and Richmond County probably draws as much or more than UP does when they visit PC. No one, not even North Moore or any of the Cape Fear Valley 3A schools brings as big of a crowd as does PC when they visit UP. And, in today's tough economy, high school athletic programs need to do all they can to bring in much needed revenue.
There will be a handful of fines, suspensions and penalties given out by the NCHSAA. The harshest penalty that may result could be both schools being barred from the state football playoffs, and, it would make no difference whether both schools win the remainder of their games in the regular season. Such a ban would send a strong message to both schools about the importance of good sportsmanship.
Right now, I think the game officials and the NCHSAA need to do whatever they think is best.