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LETTER: State overstepped with hockey incident

To the editor: As a parent of a Mitchell Marlins varsity-JV player, I have remained subdued throughout this debacle, giving the process its due diligence and time. Now that everything has been finalized, I would like to address a few concerns. We...

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To the editor:

As a parent of a Mitchell Marlins varsity-JV player, I have remained subdued throughout this debacle, giving the process its due diligence and time. Now that everything has been finalized, I would like to address a few concerns.

We need to remember this is an off-ice issue. This incident happened after practice was in a locker room between two consenting players. It is no different than if these boys squared up in a city park or a backyard. It doesn't make it right, but those are the facts.

I emphasize that because there is no precedent or rule allowing off-ice issues to be handled by the South Dakota Amateur Hockey Association. In fact, the SDAHA wanted nothing to do with it. On Dec. 24, Randy Honkomp, the SDAHA president, emailed our association stating, "SDAHA does not want to be involved in local discipline or issues" ... but I guess when you write the rules, that gives you the right to change the rules for your own agenda. There should have been no extra punishments handed down by the SDAHA to any players or coaches.

The two boys that were fighting were suspended for the season. The boys in the locker room with phones were punished multiple games. The other boys in the locker room that were there were also punished multiple games. This is all absolutely fair.

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But it's not right to punish the other 13 boys - including my son - who weren't in that locker room, or at practice.

These boys were held accountable, but the SDAHA didn't follow its bylaws in handing out punishments. In fact, the bylaws state the sole responsibility of the discipline committee is to handle the punishments of infractions before during or right after games.

So who holds the SDAHA accountable? Who makes sure it follows the rules and precedent that it sets? Now that this has happened, do they get to step in every time something happens off ice at a local level and hand out additional punishment? Or will they just rewrite the rules again so it fits their agenda?

Jason Long

Mitchell

Related Topics: HOCKEY
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