Broadneck suspends 5 football starters Undefeated team's quarterback, lineman among those penalized

October 08, 1998|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Five starters on Broadneck's undefeated football team have been suspended for at least one game after alleged violations of the Anne Arundel County conduct code for student athletes.

One of the players said some of the suspensions were for the remainder of the season. The violations occurred before and during the school's homecoming dance Saturday.

"This whole thing is very unfortunate, and we have a conference at school [today]," said Ken Eslin, who confirmed that his son, junior quarterback Ryan Eslin, has been suspended for at least one game.

All five of the players started for the No. 7-ranked Bruins, and all but Eslin are seniors -- one of them, top lineman John Cifolilli.

Eslin is among the county passing leaders with 454 yards and six touchdown passes. Cifolilli, a 6-foot-4, 280-pound senior, is one of the Bruins' seven three-year starters.

"I'm one of the ones gone for the rest of the year," said Cifolilli, 18, who would not divulge the names of the others but added: "It's devastating, and I've learned my lesson. I just hope the team can regroup without us. This is tough to take."

Broadneck (5-0) plays Saturday at Laurel (0-5). All-Metro receiver Lehrman Dotson is expected to play quarterback for Eslin, whose completion percentage of .529 on 27 of 51 is second in the county only to North County's Mike Pfisterer (.540).

Broadneck athletic director Ken Kazmarek confirmed that several football players had been suspended because of school and county violations but said that "you will have to get particulars from our principal."

Principal Lynn Blackman said yesterday, "You know I can't publicly discuss student discipline," and deferred to county Board of Education public information spokesman Jane Doyle.

"Yes, there was disciplinary action taken, but I am not allowed to say anymore than that," said Doyle. She cited the conduct code, which says any suspension from school for violation of board policy calls for the termination of that student/athlete's season.

The rule says violators "will be prohibited from participating in interscholastic sports programs for at least the remainder of the season in which the infraction occurred and may be subject to such other athletic sanctions as the principal deems appropriate."

Broadneck football coach Jeff Herrick refused to comment. He also declined comment on whether any players might appeal.

A precedent was set 15 years ago for bypassing the appeals process. In 1983, 13 Severna Park football players were suspended from school and dismissed from the team for the remainder of the season for violating the code.

Eight players hired an attorney, who secured a Circuit Court injunction that was issued at halftime of Severna Park's game at Glen Burnie. They played the second half.

The other five accepted the verdict and did not play. The other eight reached a compromise with the county and sat out one game chosen by their coach.

Pub Date: 10/08/98

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