The Florida High School Athletic Association has denied Nature Coast’s appeal to reduce the suspension of standout DE Rohan Blackwood, Sharks coach Charles Liggett said Thursday afternoon.
Blackwood’s suspension remains at three weeks, meaning he’ll miss Friday’s season opener at Crystal River and a non-district game against Springstead. NCT tried to get the state’s governing body for high school sports to reduce Blackwood’s suspension to one game.
Liggett said Hernando County School District officials told the school to weaken the wording in its appeal over whether Blackwood threw a punch that led to his ejection from a 47-7 preseason loss to Citrus. The officials wrote in their report that Blackwood threw a punch, but Liggett said the game film showed that he did not.
“My stance is this: I have no issue disciplining a kid over something they’ve actually done,” Liggett said. “But to accept a discipline for something they did not do, I don’t agree with that.”
Blackwood, a 6-foot-5 senior, will be eligible for the district opener against Central. He recorded 15 sacks as a junior and holds college offers from USF, Nebraska, Wisconsin and others.