Colquitt County had planned to play national power Hoover of Alabama on Labor Day Monday in an ESPN-televised football game, but the Georgia High School Association ruled Monday not to allow it.
GHSA rules don’t permit schools to play two football games in the same week except in emergencies. Colquitt is scheduled to play Lovejoy five days later, on a Saturday.
‘’The chance to play on ESPN is not an emergency,’’ GHSA executive director Ralph Swearngin said at the GHSA’s executive committee meeting Monday. Swearngin said his job wasn’t to make the bylaws, just to enforce them as they exist.
Hoover has won seven state championships in Alabama’s highest class since 2000, the first five under coach Rush Propst, who now is Colquitt’s head coach. Propst and Hoover gained national fame because of MTV’s “Two-A-Days,’’ which chronicled Hoover’s 2005 and 2006 seasons.
The meeting of two high-profile programs from bordering states and Propst’s return to Hoover made the game a natural attraction for ESPN’s network.
“By us not being able to play on Monday, we’re going to lose great exposure for high school football in this state,’’ Propst said. “It still may happen [that the two teams would play the week before on a Friday], but I’m not sure of that. We possibly could lose that game because they [Hoover] really wanted that ESPN prime-time game.’’
Propst noted that Colquitt’s football players would miss more class time by playing on a Friday since Monday is a holiday.
The GHSA occasionally has allowed schools to make up weather-postponed games on Mondays, even if it meant two games in a week, but generally only if it was a region game that could not be replayed otherwise.
Making an exception for Colquitt County would’ve entailed a change in the bylaws, Swearngin said. None was proposed to the executive committee Monday.