Boys soccer coaches in the 7A/6A-West cleared the air and presented a united front Monday following a controversy regarding buffer games for red cards.
The issue came to a head last week after Springdale added a game with Harrison to absorb a red card by Orsy Gonzalez, who was sent off during a conference game with Fayetteville. The move was made to make Gonzalez eligible for its conference showdown with Springdale Har-Ber, but the Arkansas Activities Association stepped in and ruled Gonzalez ineligible for the matchup.
Earlier in the year, Rogers added a game with Huntsville after two of its players received red cards in a conference match with Siloam Springs. Rogers took advantage of a loophole that says a player must sit out “the next comparable” game rather than specifying that it must be a conference game.
The league coaches met on Monday and agreed not to exploit the rule even if the AAA decides not take action to make it more specific.
“The rule is gray, obviously,” said Har-Ber coach Nelson Medina, who is leaving May 30 to take a job as an executive director with the Las Vegas Sports Academy. “We, in the fraternity of coaches, have to do what is right and set a good example for the kids. We had a great meeting and made a pact not to try and slide (added) games in to absorb a red card.”
The 7A boys state tournament begins today at Harmon Field in Fayetteville. The 7A girls state tournament begins today at the Tiger Athletic Complex in Bentonville.