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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Riverdale, Smyrna girls deliberately try to lose game, get kicked out of playoffs

Story from  Tennessean.com

The TSSAA removed Riverdale and Smyrna from the high school girls basketball postseason on Monday following a report from a high school referee in charge of their District 7-AAA consolation game held Saturday where he said that both schools "played to lose the game."

Both Rutherford County schools were placed on restrictive probation by the high school association for the rest of the school year and probation for the 2015-16 school year.
Both schools were fined $1,500.

Administrators from both schools met with the TSSAA on Monday. Smyrna principal Rick Powell said both he and Riverdale principal Tom Nolan asked to allow their teams to continue to play, but remove their respective coaches — Shawn Middleton at Smyrna and Cory Barrett at Riverdale — from the postseason.

"I hate it for the kids because of the actions of the coaches," Powell said. "We pleaded with the TSSAA. We hated that they were penalized. But that was their decision.

"We talked about removing them for games, but it may be just one game (if they lost), or it could be two or three... You don't know how many games it would be."

Tullahoma (19-8) and Lawrence County (21-8) advanced to Wednesday's Region 4-AAA semifinals without play because of the TSSAA decision. No. 1 seed Tullahoma was scheduled to play Riverdale, which was ranked eighth in the final Associated Press Class AAA statewide poll. No. 2 seed Lawrence County was scheduled to play Smyrna.

Neither Powell or Nolan were in attendance at Saturday's 7-AAA consolation game, which was held at Riverdale. Smyrna won 55-29.

In the report, the referee noted that Riverdale "missed 12-16 fre
e throws intentionally." And that Smyrna "wouldn't get the ball across the half-court line to get a 10-second count or to make us call an over and back violation intentionally."

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