LHSAA swings and misses again with Hahnville QB suspension

Hahnville QB Andrew Robison “devastated” after suspension for 1 year.

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Hahnville Quarterback Andrew Robison probably faced the most adversity of his 18 year old life today at an LHSAA appeal hearing.  Robison was suspended for the entire year three week ago by the LHSAA for essentially wearing a Hahnville High School football jersey for a cover shoot of Louisiana high school football magazine.  At the time Robison was not enrolled officially at Hahnville High.  To be selected to grace the cover of this publication, you’re typically considered one of the top 60 seniors in the state.

Robison played at Vandebilt Catholic last season; but, after his father’s contract as a basketball coach at that school wasn’t renewed, the player was basically a free agent. He decided to play at Hahnville high school.  Some have speculated that his father was given a job at Hahnville as an assistant coach because of his son’s talent.  So be it.  It happens. It’s legal.

The LHSAA upheld executive director Eddie Bonine’s decision during an appeal hearing of 14 executive members of the LHSAA.  It was a unanimous vote! A clean 14-0 sweep. Unbelievable! Not one of the members of the committee gave Andrew Robison the benefit of the doubt.

Hahnville High School Coach, Nich Saltaformagio, who is serving a four game suspension for his role in this transgression, challenged the LHSAA and other schools in a passionate interview on Sports Talk.

“It bothers me that the LHSAA won’t look at itself and look at other schools that are going out of their way to follow no rules,” an emotional Coach Salt said. A one year suspension has pretty much changed the next five years of Robison’s life I can argue.  Coach Saltaformagio described the proceedings of the hearing in a very matter of fact way, “It was the most horrific experience I’ve had as a football coach” he said.

The LHSAA has long since been a sore spot with inconsistency in enforcing rules across the state regardless of sport. Coach Salt continued to passionately argue about the LHSAA hearing and the dog and pony show the hearing seemed to be.

“In typical LHSAA fashion, I don’t think they listened to the presentation we put on and rubber stamped it.  To watch what happened today, it was the single most devastating thing I’ve been involved with in my life,” Saltaformagio added.  He described Andrew Robinson’s hearing this way: “Today was a day for a horrible day for a great young man”.

As each member of the executive committee that heard the appeal cast their vote, Saltaformagio likened the hearing to watching a prize fighter take punch after punch, one by one, and not be able to throw in the towel, saying “he was destroyed” and describing it this way.

“It was the most horrific experience I’ve had as a football coach”.  Coach Salt urged legislators to get involved in how to govern the LHSAA.  In other states like Texas and Florida, the governing bodies of high school athletics have to answer to state legislators.  In Louisiana, the LHSAA answers to NOBODY! Essentially, the bad actors who are administrators that comprise the LHSAA executive committee and voting entities can hide behind executive director Eddie Bonine. He will simply say the carbon copy answer of “I just do what the principals want me to do. It’s their association.”

A perfect set up! No one’s ever really held accountable in the LHSAA. It’s flawed, and now an 18 year old high school student’s future has been jeopardized.  How would you feel if that were your son or daughter? Not too good I would imagine.

I agree with coach Saltaformagio when he said “I don’t know how a lot of people can sleep with themselves tonight.” That holds true for the coaches at Vandebilt Catholic, the executive committee of the LHSAA, and Executive Director Eddie Bonine! You just altered the course of one young man’s future, one that he’ll never get back simply because you’re too afraid to stand up for what is right!

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