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Thursday, May 25, 2006 - Page updated at 07:01 PM

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Connecticut football coaches won't be running up the score this fall

HARTFORD, Conn. – High school football coaches in Connecticut will have to be good sports this fall — or risk a suspension.

The football committee of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, which governs high school sports, is adopting a "score management" policy that will suspend coaches whose teams win by more than 50 points.

A rout is considered an unsportsmanlike infraction and the coach of the offending team will be disqualified from coaching the next game, said Tony Mosa, assistant executive director of the Cheshire-based conference.

"We were concerned with any coach running up the game. There's no need for it," Mosa said Wednesday. "This is something that we really have been discussing for the last couple of years. There were a number of games that were played where the difference of scores were 60 points or more. It's not focused on any one particular person."

Some have dubbed it the "Jack Cochran rule," after the New London High's football coach, who logged four wins of more than 50 points last year. In New London's 60-0 rout of Tourtelotte/Ellis Tech, Cochran enraged the Tourtelotte bench by calling a timeout just before halftime. Tourtelotte's coach was arrested on breach of peace charges after police say he struck a security guard and an assistant New London coach.

Leo Facchini, New London's athletic director, called it unfair to single out his coach.

Facchini said he and Cochran tried to pull in the reins during New London's 90-0 drubbing of Griswold last season by trying to get both sides and the timekeeper to agree to run a continuous clock.

Some states, including Iowa, continuously run the game clock in the second half if a team has a 35-point lead. The Connecticut committee rejected a similar proposal because members thought it would unfairly cut into backups' playing time.

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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