The hearing is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 30 – two days before St. Joseph (Mont.) is set to play in the Non-Public, Group 3 final against DePaul.
Pope John and St. Joseph (Mont.) will appear before the NJSIAA Controversies Committee as the result of a fight during the Non-Public, Group 3 football semifinals, according to NJSIAA assistant director Jack DuBois.
The hearing is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 30 – two days before St. Joseph (Mont.) is set to play in the Non-Public, Group 3 final against DePaul at Kean University at 1 p.m.
“It will be a review of sportsmanship, a review of sportsmanship procedures followed at the game – or lack thereof,” DuBois said.
St. Joseph athletic director Tony Karcich confirmed the hearing’s purpose.
“We’re looking at it as a fact-finding hearing to determine what exactly transpired at the conclusion of the game,” Karcich said. “They want to hear our side, their side and I’ve been told one of the officials will be there, which makes sense. It’s to determine if any wrongdoing was done on either side.”
Sportsmanship policy violations can be penalized with probation, fines, suspensions, the forfeiture of games and/or the forfeiture of championship rights, according to the NJSIAA Constitution.
St. Joseph and head coach Augie Hoffmann are already on a two-year probation, which was imposed by the NJSIAA on Nov. 7 as the result of an illegal recruiting violation.
While the NJSIAA is restricted from using video review in most instances, the Controversies Committee is an exception. The committee is permitted to use video footage to review the incident and has done so during past hearings, according to DuBois.
Karcich declined to comment on what he believes the tape shows, but thinks the use of video is warranted.
“Fortunately we have the video and we’re hoping that will be conclusive enough,” Karcich said. “We’ve never been in a hearing like this, but the good thing is that the NJSIAA is going to allow the tape. Initially, there was talk that they weren’t, but they do, and I think that will tell the story.”
Tensions began when St. Joseph, leading 21-7, ran for a 15-yard TD on first-and-10 with 20.5 seconds remaining.
On the ensuing kickoff, a shoving matched broke out after the whistle and then escalated, with players and coaches from both St. Joseph (Mont.) and Pope John spilling onto the field with 14.1 seconds still on the clock. Pope John’s coaches eventually sent their players to the locker room and the refs opted to run the remaining time off the clock, ending the game in a 28-7 St. Joseph win.
Despite the chaos, the game’s officials did not hand out disqualifications for any players or coaches on either side, according to DuBois.
Both Hoffmann and Pope John declined to comment about the hearing.
— Matt Stypulkoski (@M_Stypulkoski) November 18, 2017
NJ Advance Media staff writer Patrick Lanni contributed to this report.