NCHSAA reverses postseason ban, grants Rocky Mount Prep postseason participation
By SAMUEL EVERS
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
There will be playoff basketball for the Rocky Mount Prep Jaguars this season after all.
On Tuesday morning, a day after a detailed appeal of a postseason ban sanctioned by the NCHSAA, the organization made its decision to reverse its initial ruling that stemmed from a Jan. 30 altercation between RMP and host Weldon High School, which happened in the fourth quarter of a win for the Jaguars.
The NCHSAA, which did not respond to a request for comment, alerted head of school Todd Pipkin, principal Maurice Moore and athletic director Josh Curley of its decision via email.
The Jaguars (20-0, 11-0 Tar-Roanoke) will in fact be able to participate in the 1-A postseason tournament, but will also have to pay a $500 fine — reduced from $1,000 — and will be put on probation as a program for a year. According to Pipkin, the two players involved in the altercation have also been removed from the team.
On Tuesday afternoon, Pipkin also said he planned to have a meeting with the team to try and put the incident, and what has ensued since, into a bigger picture.
“It's been a learning experience. When you can take a negative moment and learn from it, for me that’s a teachable moment,” said Pipkin, who was held his position with RMP since the summer of 2016. “We’re happy to be able to play, but it’s also something you have to teach them about; how it could affect both high school and college.”
All coaches and players within the school’s athletic department have already been instructed to take an online training course as a future preventive measure, said Pipkin, and he expects signed contracts to be mandatory for all participants moving forward.
“We really want to be more productive and make sure this doesn’t happen again,” he said.