Neiko Robinson Suspension Cut By Two Games; Officials Take Issue With FHSAA Policy

September 21, 2012

The Florida High School Athletic Association has cut Northview Chiefs senior Neiko Robinson’s suspension from six games to four.

Robinson was suspended after being ejected in the fourth quarter of a preseason kickoff game. Robinson, a transfer from the Flomaton Hurricanes and a verbal commitment to Penn State, was tossed out of the game for throwing a punch. His younger brother, Neino Robinson, was flagged for pass interference, and a brief scuffle followed.

In appealing the six game suspension, Northview did not deny that Robinson was guilty of unsportsmanlike conduct. Instead, school officials took issue with the severity of the penalty.  A new FHSAA sportsmanship policy went into effect a year ago calling for an automatic six-game suspension for a player ejected for being involved in a fight.

“A six game penalty in a sport like football is excessive,” Escambia Superintendent Malcolm Thomas said. “Six games in football is most of a season; six games in basketball can be what, a couple of weeks? We are hoping that the FHSAA will take a look at that policy.”

Thomas made it very clear that Robinson was guilty of the unsportsmanlike conduct, as did  Northview High School Principal Gayle Weaver.

“He did commit unsportsmanlike conduct,” Weaver said. “But we felt that the number of games was too severe in relation to the number of games in the sport.”

In reducing the suspension by two games, the FHSAA said Robinson will face school discipline.

Northview will require that Robinson make an apology to his team, a public apology to the school, visit Ernest Ward Middle School and “speak to their athletes advising them of the importance of good sportsmanship”, and participate in other Northview sports by mentoring younger players, according to Weaver’s appeal letter to the FHSAA.

“It is most important that he learn not only from his mistakes but also that, as a senior, he has the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of others, while providing him with the opportunity to make a life beyond his small community,” Weaver wrote to the FHSAA. “He made a mistake. Please help us to help him to turn it into a redemptive opportunity.”

“He has a future ahead of him in football, having received offers from Penn State and Purdue, among others,” Northview Head Coach Sid Wheatley said in his letter to the FHSAA. “He loves the game and has learned a valuable lesson.”

Robinson will sit out Friday night’s game against South Walton as the fourth game of his suspension. With the reduced suspension, he will be eligible to play September 28 against Gulf Breeze and in Northview’s first district game October 5 against the Jay Royals.

Pictured top: Senior Neiko Robinson picks up yardage for the Northview Chiefs  before being ejected from an August 24 preseason game against Panama City Bay. photo, click to enlarge.


14 Responses to “Neiko Robinson Suspension Cut By Two Games; Officials Take Issue With FHSAA Policy”

  1. Redman on September 24th, 2012 7:45 pm

    This 6 game suspension rule is pathetically extreme.These are 16 and 17 year olds playing an emotionally fueled game This is like using a shotgun to go mosquito hunting…its over kill.6 games is almost the death penalty for a minute of anger being vented.a one game suspension in plenty…I’m sure “coach” can administer any additional punishments at practice in the form of wind sprints after practice.

  2. Anna on September 24th, 2012 6:47 pm

    *teaches, *responsible

  3. Anna on September 24th, 2012 6:45 pm

    A rule is a rule…being a good player doesn’t change the rules. The school of all people should teach children to be responsable for their actions. This only eaches them to expect exception….sad. He should sit out the games.

  4. Bob on September 21st, 2012 5:48 pm

    They Need To Let Him Play!!

  5. m spence on September 21st, 2012 3:15 pm

    I love the fact that Mrs. Weaver, Coach Wheatley and Mr. Thomas all were standing up for Neiko. As Greg says, LEARN from this and move on.

  6. JoJo on September 21st, 2012 3:11 pm

    My child was just suspensed for 6 games at a high school in another county in Florida. He was NOT involved in a fight, nor did he throw a punch. He was guilty of putting his knee in another player’s back as he got up. He was ejected by the only referee who claimed to see it. The incident did NOT show up on film, and no one on the field even claimed to see it. Even the alleged victim said he didn’t realize what was happening. My child’s actions were wrong, but six games, REALLY? It is not fair. He will be eligible to play in the last game of the season only if we don’t make the playoffs. I am incensed. This is football, not tiddliwinks.

  7. Century on September 21st, 2012 2:33 pm

    Neiko’s back.. Neiko’s back… J

  8. jw on September 21st, 2012 10:38 am

    There is about to be alot less points scored on Northview. Not to say the guys out there isnt good just that Neiko is a very special football player.Glad he has a chance to turn this into a huge positive.

  9. Melissa on September 21st, 2012 9:57 am

    I’m so thankful we have administration in our school system that will fight for their students. Right or wrong…. they are teenagers and they will make mistakes. The most important life lesson from this is that with every choice you make, there is a consequence…good or bad! I’m glad he will be talking to the younger kids and showing them and maybe keeping them from making the same mistake. Retaliation is not always the answer, sometimes it’s best to just walk away from that play and show how good you are on the next play.(By placing your helmet in their numbers and watching them pull the grass out of their facemask!) Respect is not given, it is earned, and that comes by playing 100% for 4 quarters, playing hard with all your heart, and with having good sportmanship! Good luck with the rest of the year!

  10. well on September 21st, 2012 8:50 am

    There was no judgement intended. Only from observation. I’m sure that both are great young men and that is how they should portray themselves. SPORTSMANSHIP

  11. happy on September 21st, 2012 8:28 am

    Neiko is a good football player and the comment “Both Neiko and Neino seem to be hot wired and should work at controlling it some so this doesn’t happen again” actually Neino or Neiko never had this kind of accident at Flomaton. They just let their anger get the best of them that night. Or it could have been anything, as in the other player could have said something VERY harsh and made Neiko mad. Dont just assume they cant keep their anger under-control because they did the whole time they was at Flomaton.

  12. well on September 21st, 2012 8:03 am

    Glad Neiko is back and wish him and the rest of the chiefsthe best of luck.

    Both Neiko and Neino seem to be hot wired and should work at controlling it some so this doesn’t happen again.

  13. Greg on September 21st, 2012 5:52 am

    Thank you Malcolm Thomas and Ms. weaver for standing up for Neiko – that is the kind of leadership we need in this country

    Neiko – LEARN from this and move on

  14. Keith on September 21st, 2012 3:59 am

    Awesome. Cannot wait to see him play.

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