Walker High School parents react to a decision from the Alabama High School Association (AHSAA) regarding stiff sanctions after football coaches; John Holladay and Matt Hooper were involved in a fight on the field following last Friday night's game.
The meeting was led by Superintendent Dr. Mike Newton. Parents and the Walker football team met Thursday night to discuss what will happen with the team.
"We feel they are harsher than what we were hoping for," says parent Jud Smith. Smith says the punishments are too severe not only for the coach but for the players. Other parents at the meeting say they support Holladay and will stand behind him. "He goes above and beyond", says Shannon Whitley.
Coaches from the schools have been suspended and Holladay, who resigned on Tuesday, has been banned from post-season play.
Both schools were fined $1500. Walker High School is now on restrictive probation and Cullman is on non-restrictive probation, meaning it can still compete in playoffs.
But both schools are being allowed an opportunity to have its fines reduced to $1,000 respectively should players and coaches complete a professional development session administered by the AHSAA's mentoring program. Information regarding an expected completion date was not made available.
Most of the parents at Thursday's meeting said they understand the decision but its concerning because the players are the ones suffering. "It's tough that the kids would have to suffer but it's what they decided," says Steven Spivey.