Having a celebratory cigar at their high school graduation cost two lacrosse players the rest of their season.
The players, Nick Donovan and Dylan Jutras, attended Beverly High School in Massachusetts, and after a photo of them smoking stogies wound up on the front of the local newspaper, the pair was told they'd have to sit out the rest of the season.
Donovan and Jutras are both apparently 18, so their smoking wasn't illegal — but it still violated the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association prohibition on tobacco use.
“I don’t think it’s applied with the spirit of the rule in mind,” Nick Donovan's father John told the Salem News. “The spirit of the rule is, we don’t want any student to be involved with drugs and alcohol, which I agree with 100 percent. However, the application of the ruling was not in line with the spirit of the rule itself.”
The dad said smoking a cigar was “a celebratory thing that transcends generations and cultures.”
“What’s the first thing people do when they have a baby? They hand out cigars,” he said. “Look at the statue of Red Auerbach (smoking a victory cigar). It symbolizes victory, it symbolizes accomplishment. It doesn’t symbolize anything negative as far as I’m concerned.”
The suspended players will miss today's divisional championship game, as well as any subsequent games to which their team may advance.
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