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Daytona Beach Hawgs violate NIFL rules, will miss post-season

June 29, 2005 - National Indoor Football League (NIFL) - Daytona Beach Hawgs News Release

DAYTONA BEACH - Following the National Indoor Football League "freeze" of rosters last Thursday, it has been determined that the Daytona Beach Hawgs played two non-rostered players in their game Saturday and the NIFL, under its penalties and guidelines, will suspend the team from the 2005 on playoffs, it was announced Wednesday by the league's executive committee and NIFL president Carolyn Shiver.

Thursday, June 23, was the last day for coaches and team officials to submit a roster of 30 players who would be eligible for the 2005 playoffs. All injured reserve and additional players, than the game-day 22, were to be listed which could be available for the playoff games.

It was determined that Daytona Beach had used two players, specifically wide receiver Robert Bailey and running back Greg Lathan, in its game against the Rome Renegades who were not listed on Thursday's roster. The suspension does not allow for an appeal and the decision is final by the NIFL to not allow the Hawgs, who had an 8-6 record and would have been seeded as the 2nd- best in the 8-team Atlantic Conference bracket, not to play. "It's unfortunate that this occurred, but the rule stands," said owner Anthony J. Pewonski. "In the beginning, this was a promising situation. The team, however, will not play in the playoffs. For those players who were eligible, it is a shame they will not be able to participate in post-season play."

Daytona head coach Pepe Pearson joined the team in Rome and was not aware the two players, who had previously been left off the roster to be waived, were on the trip. Assistant coach Marcus Pearson was the only Hawgs' administrator on the bus and responsible for those who traveled with the team.

Bailey, one of the team's top receivers this past season, caught a game-high eight passes at Rome for 127 yards and two touchdowns. He also had one missed field goal runback of six yards and five kickoff returns for 64 yards.

Lathan, who was brought to the team after being released by the Dayton Warbirds, played on defense at Rome, had one tackle. Both were told by administrators they were not included on the 30-man playoff roster.

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