Harrisburg Administrators Oppose IHSA Sanctions

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By WSIL Sports

HARRISBURG -- Administrators from Harrisburg High School and Seton Academy voiced their opinions about IHSA sanctions against their respective coaches Thursday.

The IHSA released the results of its month long investigation into the Class 2A boys basketball state title game Wednesday afternoon. Less than 24 hours later, both schools had issued formal statements regarding the release.

Harrisburg superintendent Dennis Smith is unhappy with how the IHSA's sanction against Bulldogs head basketball coach Randy Smithpeters. Smith says Smithpeters shouldn't receive any punishment since the investigation found Seton Academy's allegations of racial slurs unwarranted.

Smithpeters is arguing the IHSA's ruling as well. The longtime coach was put on probation for one year and ordered to sit out next year's postseason, unless he completes a teaching and modeling behavior training program.

Smithpeters says the IHSA punished him for leaving the coach's box in the first half. He says that's not fair.

Seton Academy head coach Brandon Thomas was also put on probation for one year. He is also banned from the postseason for the next two years.

News 3 called Seton Academy athletic director Deon Tolliver Thursday afternoon. He issued this statement on behalf of school principal Marianne Lynch:

"We are in receipt of the IHSA ruling regarding the Boys Basketball 2A championship game. We concur with their affirmation of the outstanding behavior of our young men and the excellent sportsmanship exhibited by Seton players throughout the game.

We look to the IHSA to further address the concerns Seton Academy expressed regarding the overall tournament situation and have been assured by Dr. Hickman that they will do so. We look forward to seeing specific action steps by the IHSA to guarantee this."

Harrisburg's Smith says he plans to bring up the sanctions at next Tuesday night's school board meeting.
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