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Sunday, Sep 24, 2017
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Fenton Fighting Suspension

TAMPA - Last year, Jefferson coach Mike Fenton had to fight to get out of jury duty the week of the district showdown with Plant. This year, Fenton will be fighting to be on the sideline with his team when the Dragons take on Plant for the Class 4A-District 10 title Friday night. Fenton was informed on Monday that the FHSAA plans to suspend him for one week and fine him $250 for his ejection from last week's game against Alonso. Fenton plans to appeal the suspension, which according to Jefferson athletic director Bob Morgan will be heard on Thursday, and also is seeking legal representation to fight the decision. The legal wrangling has Fenton contemplating resigning out of fear his players are being targeted. 'I'm spent and I don't have any more fight in me when it comes to something like this. I have plenty of fight in me when it comes to winning games, but this is very draining,' he said.
On Monday while his team prepared for Plant on the practice field, Fenton was holed up in the coaches' portable going over rules books. The National Federation for High School Sports rule book, which the FHSAA follows, states that a player or coach should receive a warning for a first offense, such as profanity, and then be disqualified for the second offense. Hillsborough County rules, however, have a zero-tolerance policy in regards to profanity. If Fenton must sit out Friday, assistant head coach/defensive line coach Dan Lea would assume head coaching duties; offensive coordinator Jeremy Earle would call the plays.

Reporter Katherine Smith can be reached at (813) 259-7860 or ksmith@tampatrib.com.

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