Heaven knows this is a sports town and this newspaper devotes a substantial amount of resources toward covering athletics. Still, as the controversy over a suspended Shawnee High School quarterback swirled, we tried to ignore the issue, feeling there are certainly more weighty issues that deserved comment.

Sadly, we also thought it would have been resolved before now.

In case you've been living a monastic existence over the past few weeks, here's the Reader's Digest version: Shawnee winning a playoff game and QB taking a knee to end it. Tulsa Washington player dives over the line in what appears to be a cheap shot. Shawnee QB kicks said Tulsa Washington player. Shawnee QB flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct and ejected.

Of course, by rule, that kind of an ejection means you sit out the next two games as well. But the Shawnee coach -- who also happens to be the player's father -- appealed the two-game suspension in court, got it upheld and now the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Athletic Association has appealed to the State Supreme Court, postponing the playoff game until the issue's resolved. Whew! Oh, and then this week, no less than Gov. Brad Henry, himself an '81 Shawnee grad, weighed in on the side of the player, saying the refs overreached their bounds. The governor was there.

First off, we feel the guv should stay out of it, loyal Shawnee Wolves' fan or not. And not that it matters, but he didn't present a public opinion on the quality of officiating at OU's game against Texas Tech a couple of weeks ago. And that was the right thing to do. How he let himself get dragged into this one, we'll never know, but he needs to leave it alone.

There are all sorts of reasons (read "excuses") on the Shawnee side of things. He was provoked, the penalty's too harsh, he didn't mean to hurt other the kid, the refs overreacted, it had no effect on the outcome of the game, etc. From where we sit, the suspension needs to be upheld and the playoffs proceed. Bottom line, the kid broke the rules and the suspension applies. All the adults rallying to his corner are only telling him that excuses, privilege (his position as starting QB), and the courts are all mechanisms at his disposal to excuse his inexcusable behavior.

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