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FLORIDA HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION’S HARSH PUNISHMENT OF LUTHER JOHNSON, V

He is a model student-athlete at Christopher Columbus High with an unweighted 4.09 GPA and letters of interest from over 15 colleges including Yale’s football team. He is a representative of what any parent wants for their kids and now his whole life is being destroyed.

Luther Johnson,V(LJV) has been banned from ALL sports by the Florida High School Athletic Association(FHSAA) for his  entire upcoming Senior  Year over two approximately 20-seconds on the field non malicious plays during two very active Lacrosse games where two seasoned Lacrosse coaches ( including a college coach) reviewed the video and one stated no more than a 1-2 minute penalty should have been called not only on LJV, but #99 in the game who committed a non malicious hard hit prior to LJV , and the other stated that LJV’s hit was no worse than the three before it , that LJV was just physically stronger than the other player and made an aggressive slide hitting the player with his shoulder.

LJV has never been discipline academically or any other sports prior to this year. He was recently elected President of his school’s Christian fellowship. His Principal, Assistant Principal and Athletic Director previously testified on his behalf before the FHSAA to over turn this sanction and his Athletic Director is a prior member of that FHSAA committee. But despite the statements of the well-seasoned Lacrosse coaches, LJV’s stellar academic and athletic history, the School’s testimony, his parent’s testimony and even LJV himself showing remorse and humbly asking to be reinstated, the FHSAA upheld this one year ban which equates to a life time ban from all sports because this is LJV’s last year.

The FHSAA reasoned they gave him a second chance by reducing the prior sanction of 6 weeks to 5 weeks after he was penalized in an earlier Lacrosse game this year where he was the only African-American on the field (and his team) and was repeatedly called the “N” word by other players from the opposing team. That was his first ever offense and the FHSAA suspended him for 6 weeks. 

The final hearing took place Monday, June 10, 2019 at 1:00 PM. I am disappointed  to say that FHSAA upheld their decision to fully suspend Luther Johnson V, from 2019 football and 9 weeks of 2020 Lacrosse.        

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