A Comeaux High School senior wants answers after he was declared ineligible to play football.
Knorrowkoa Kevone Jones transferred this year from Lafayette High School. Under LHSAA rules, if a player transfers, they have to sit out a year unless the move was out of the student’s control. The student and his family chose to transfer because of a hostile environment at LHS, and they believe an exception should be granted for Jones to play football.
“I hear it a lot around people, and I don’t like when a lot of people use it around me. It makes me feel weird when someone says it around me. Like, why are we letting them say that” Jones said.
He says his time on the football team last year wasn’t pleasant. He and his father say the coaches used racial slurs so much that Jones came home and told his parents.
“It was like ‘n’ get your butt on the field, ‘n’ you slacking, ‘n’ you tripping, ‘n’ like that. It’s a slang now that a lot of youngsters use but that’s not what’s suppose to be taught to us.” his father said.
Chief Administrative Officer for LPSS, Joe Craig, said the school acknowledged the issue and the isolated issue was resolved.
“The district was notified of an incident that took place last school year where we had to look into some cases where a coach was using the ‘n’ word. Frankly, that’s totally unacceptable anytime any place and any context. I reached out to the principal. The principal investigated the allegations, it appears that it did happen in an isolated setting and again, not okay… and at that point, the principal took appropriate disciplinary action,” Craig said.
Later in the school year, the incident led to an argument in which Jones’ father hit a coach and that led to Jones’s arrest.
“He raised his hand in a motion, I asked him not to do it, not to raise his hands like that and when he moved his hand I went to slap his hand down. Now, did I braise his face or slap his face…I mean it was an emotional event at the time,” Jones said.
Jones’s new principal filed for a hardship grievance on his behalf, but the LHSAA denied it. The principal then filed multiple appeals and all of them were denied. KATC reached out to the LHSAA, but our calls have not been answered.
“What’s taking place in a sense here is that this kid stood up to the bullying with the help of his parents, by coming to us and telling us what’s wrong and he is the one being punished,” Jones’s father said.
“If you don’t say anything, nothing will happen. If I would have stayed over there and said something it would have made me madder because of the consequences I would have had to go through. So instead, I just came back and told them,” Jones said.
Now, Jones is left to wonder what could have been of his senior year.
“I really think that they are making a really big mistake because I want to play football my senior year. I have a talent where I can go far in football, in baseball too. I’m really good at baseball. Without me being able to play, I don’t know how I am going to show that talent to the coaches coming out and looking at me,” Jones said.