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High School home football scrimmages canceled in Lee County

Posted at 9:48 PM, Aug 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-15 06:57:50-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla. — All Lee County High School preseason football games have been canceled this week due to the ongoing debate over pay for referees.

There will be no Friday night lights in Lee County as the district announced a few hours ago all home football scrimmages would be canceled. 

The coach Fox 4 spoke with says his main concern is for the kids. 

Right after practice we just found out, I know some of the kids are devastated that are in Lee County.
Chuck Faucett, head football coach, Ida Baker High School 

The Lee County School District sent out a statement saying all home football scrimmages will not be played this week due to a breach of contract by the South Gulf Football Officials Association. 

It all comes down to money. 

The district says the Florida High School Athletic Association sets the maximum amount of money for referees, but it's still not enough to reach an agreement. 

According to the statement, based on the South Gulf Football Officials Association actions, the FHSAA revoked the association's sanction, meaning they are no longer allowed to referee games. 

I feel bad for the kids, you know this is about the kids, you only get so many games to play football in high school.
Chuck Faucett, head football coach, Ida Baker High School 

Chuck Faucett says teams usually have five home and five away games. 
This Friday is the kick-off classic, which is a pre-season game.

But it's still important; you only get one here in Florida.
Chuck Faucett, head football coach, Ida Baker High School.

However, this Friday, the fields and stands in Lee County will be empty. 

There's a meeting scheduled on August 26th to discuss the short and long term plans. 
You can count on fox 4 to keep you updated on the outcome.