Although basketball fans are excited to have the Lady Cats tipping off against Logan tonight at ECHS, it will be a bittersweet game as Head Coach Kevin Jackson will serve the first game of a three-game suspension tonight as he turns the reigns over to his coaching staff.
The KHSAA made the ruling as a result of the Adair County scrimmage game last week. Things reportedly got heated during the very physical game where one Lady Cat took home a black eye.
Apparently, a Lady Cat was called for what many fans described as a very questionable foul and Jackson asked the official to clarify as to why the foul was called. There were some words exchanged, but certainly nothing out of the ordinary, nor anything that should even be considered questionable. With no warning, a quick technical foul was issued against Jackson.
Jackson walked away, but it was reported that it was the official, not Jackson, that continued creating an issue. She told Jackson to sit down, but he refused. "This is a scrimmage game, and I'm coaching my girls," he said. It was then that the second technical foul was issued and Jackson was ejected from the game with 7.7 seconds to go in the third quarter.
With one player already injured, it was then that Coach Jackson said he felt like it was in the best interest of his players to stop the scrimmage and go home.
Jackson, taking the high road and hoping to avoid drama, downplayed the issue and said it was made out to be a bigger deal than it actually was. "No big deal," he said. "Looking at the big picture of the regular season is our main goal." The comments from Jackson were in no way an attempt to avoid talking about it, but rather to focus on the positives.
The incident raises a huge question as to why he received two technical fouls and an ejection, and in a scrimmage game at that. The ejection comes as the very first one for Jackson, a man who has coached for 30 years.
"I'm very disappointed that this incident occurred," Jackson said in a statement. "I'm sorry that in taking up for my girls, it cost me a chance to coach them this week."
A message sent to ECHS requesting a comment on the suspension was not immediately returned.
Even though the assistant coaches will be in charge this week, Jackson still talked about the keys to defeating Logan County tonight.
"Logan County went 21-10 last year so we know they have a good team," he said. "They have a 6'2 post player that I understand is very good. We'll have to play with some of that energy and passion in order to compete. I Look forward to seeing this team continue to improve as the season goes along. Our goal is to be playing our best ball in February."
According to KHSAA, an automatic suspension is the penalty for being ejected in a high school contest. Most officials are very professional and they do a great job, realizing that fans don't know their names, nor do they care. Others officiate in an attempt to live vicariously through the athletes of today, lives they never lived when they were younger. With more and more officials looking for pats on the back or recognition these days, fans will probably see more technical fouls and ejections, and unfortunately, sometimes it hurts the good coaches of the world, coaches like Kevin Jackson.
Tip-off is scheduled for 6pm for the JV, with the Varsity game beginning immediately afterwards. You can listen live on EdmonsonVoice.com with the guys from WildcatsLive as they'll bring you all the varsity action tonight.