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Natick Football Coaches Must Take Sportsmanship Classes

Plymouth South had made an appeal to the MIAA over the use of an illegal football after losing to the Red Hawks in the Division 2A semifinal

The Boston Globe is reporting that all Natick High School football coaches will have to attend four separate sportsmanship classes by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association's football committee.

The ruling comes after Plymouth South appealed to the MIAA after Natick defeated them in the Division 2A semifinal, 38-33. The MIAA postseason requires the use of the Spaulding J5V ball, but because of the poor weather conditions a Natick coach had requested to use a Wilson ball because it's easier to grip. Despite the fact that the officials told Natick coaches that it was okay, Plymouth South later complained and even asked that the Red Hawks' win be overturned.

While the committee did rule that Natick did not intentionally use the Wilson ball to gain an advantage, they ruled that Natick should've never asked to use the Wilson ball in the first place.

Principal Rose Bertucci had said from the beginning that she was disappointed that Natick coach Mark Mortarelli's integrity was being questioned. She felt that since the officials said it was okay, then it should've been okay.

Natick coaches will now take three classes on sportsmanship that are offered through the National Federation and one through the MIAA.

Robert Fucci (Editor) January 18, 2013 at 04:43 PM
Sounds like sour grapes ... I'm assuming both teams used the same ball so it was a level playing field. I'd like to know if the officials from that game also have to take these classes.
Robert Rosen January 18, 2013 at 05:30 PM
I actually didn't fully understand the ruling, as it seemed contradictory. They ruled that the coaches, and I'm paraphrasing, weren't trying to cheat, but then they made a ruling that the coaches should not have asked to use the other ball and that doing so constituted poor sportsmanship. If they weren't trying to cheat, then I don't understand why it would be poor sportsmanship to ask to use another ball.

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