The Madison-Plains boys basketball team has had more than its share of setbacks this season.
From the unexpected death of head coach Jeff Spradlin before the season started, to a whooping cough outbreak that forced the closure of school for nearly a week around Thanksgiving, to an abnormal number of days of school lost due to bad weather. But unlike the others, the latest setback was something that could’ve been avoided.
An undisclosed number of Golden Eagles varsity basketball players have been suspended anywhere from one to four games due to their participation in an event that occurred in the team locker room prior to their league game at Whitehall on Thursday, Jan. 30. The suspensions started on Saturday, Feb. 2, in a non-league game at East Clinton.
“There were a lot of guys suspended,” Madison-Plains High School director of athletics Matt Mason said. “We had some boys make some poor decisions in the locker room at Whitehall before the game and now they’ve got to suffer the consequences. We’ve followed school policy and given the proper reprimand.”
But how many players were suspended?
“The season is going to go on,” Mason said. “We won’t play any freshmen games. Our freshmen will play JV and our JV players will play varsity.”
Mason wouldn’t go into detail on what happened to trigger the suspensions, but did say the players involved have accepted the punishment and are supporting their replacements.
“We did this Saturday and the guys that were out there played their hearts out, they did a tremendous job,” Mason said. “The other guys came and were there supporting them.”
The Golden Eagles (2-13, 0-8) will play host to Worthington Christian on Tuesday, Feb. 4, and will welcome in Columbus Academy on Friday, Feb. 7, before traveling to rival London on Saturday, Feb. 8.
“I look at this not as if these are bad kids,” Mason said. “But rather good kids that made poor choices. We’re going to come out of this in a better place. The kids are going to serve their suspensions and we’re going to put this behind us.”
The Division III Central District tournament draw will be held on Sunday, Feb. 9.
Chris Miles can be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 18 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.