City College and Polytechnic High School Football Teams Disqualified From State Playoffs Following On-field Brawl

The City College and Baltimore Polytechnic Institute football teams have been disqualified from state playoffs after a fight broke out at the conclusion of their most recent game, WBAL-TV reports.

The fight, which involved students, community members, and coaches, broke out at the end of the Friday, October 28 game. Baltimore City Public Schools CEO Sonja Santelises described the brawl as “widespread,” and said it doesn’t “represent the best of the two teams or the coaching staffs.”

Following an investigation into the fight, district officials issued a statement announcing the disqualification of the teams.

“When a team engages in a fight, they are automatically suspended for the next game,” reads the statement. “For both of our teams, this means that they will not participate in the state playoffs.”

City defensive back coach Anthony Paye has criticized the punishment against the teams, and argued that it was a fight between coaches and no players were involved, per FOX 5 News. “I feel like it was a blanket decision and not really reviewed or looked at the way it needed to be looked at. There’s video footage that shows that kids aren’t fighting,” he said.

Tiffany Byrd, the athletics director for the school district, and John Davis, the chief of schools for the district, issued a letter on the matter pinning the blame on students as well as coaches.

“Unfortunately, this is not unprecedented. Two other Baltimore City football teams faced the same consequences earlier this season, and similar consequences have occurred between City and Poly within the last decade,” reads the letter, which notes the rivalry between the schools. “This decision is consistent on all levels. … We will continue to review videos and accounts of the incident, and will discipline students and adults as necessary.”

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