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Robinson assistant coach also fined, suspended

Posted Dec 11, 2012 by Bill Ward

Updated Dec 11, 2012 at 11:40 AM

In addition to Robinson head football coach Mike DePue and senior offensive lineman Ted Kelly, an unidentified Robinson assistant coach was also fined and suspended by the Florida High School Athletics Association as a result of the chaotic ending of Friday’s Class 5A state semifinals game against visiting Tallahassee Godby.

The FHSAA released the report of the incident Tuesday. The report was filed by the officials who worked the game but due to its chaotic ending and the fact the referees were not local, their report was unable to identify the Robinson assistant whom they claim ran onto the field and cursed at them.

And from what DePue remembers of the game’s immediate aftermath, they may never know who that assistant coach was.

‘‘I have no idea who that (assistant coach) was,’’ DePue said Tuesday. ‘‘It could’ve been any number of people. There was pandemonium out there after the game.’‘

Whoever the coach turns out to be, they were hit with a six-week suspension and $250 fine by the FHSAA.

Godby defeated Robinson 24-20 to advance to the state title game. The game ended in controversy when Knights quarterback Zain Gilmore connected on a pass with receiver Austin Eads, who appeared to have made the catch near the first-down marker inside Godby’s 15-yard line with less than 5 seconds to play. Officials had the option to stop the clock to see if the play had gained enough for a first down but instead they allowed time to expire.

Before the clock had reached zero, Godby players had stormed the field from one side while Robinson players and coaches ran on to the field from the other, many of them screaming for the officials to stop the clock and measure. DePue and Kelly were among them but the report said DePue did not use profanity while claiming Kelly did. The report also claims Kelly ‘‘cursed out an administrator.’‘

DePue received a $250 fine and a two-week suspension for the Level I infraction. But since he is retiring from teaching at the end of the year and from coaching once he takes care of final details of this season, the penalties are relatively meaningless. Kelly received a three-month ban and $250 fine for his Level 3 infraction. He is finished playing sports at the school but will have to pay the fine in order to obtain his transcripts for college.

Despite retiring, DePue says he will appeal the FHSAA’s findings.

According to the game official’s report to the FHSAA DePue “exacerbated the situation by running onto the field after time expired and yelling ‘Why didn’t you stop the clock for a measurement.’ I explained to him that he was a full 2 yards short of line to gain. You have no timeouts and I’m not gonna stop the clock when it’s so obvious (you’re) short of a first down to give you a free play to try to win the game.

The report went on to say an assistant coach ‘‘A taller fellow also ran onto the field and said ‘Why the——didn’t you stop th clock.’

The report makes it clear the officials were concerned about Robinson’s home crowd at Jack Peters Field, where a full house filled the stands and many spectators were on the home side of the track watching from near the sidelines. The report claims an official spoke with Robinson principal Johnny Bush to no avail about the situation. The report states:

‘‘Additionally there was approximately 200 people ringing the field and at times spilling into the players boxes. I told the principal that something had to be done about that but little was done.’’

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