Washington Catholic Athletic Conference Commissioner Bob Hardage decided yesterday not to add to the penalty Bishop McNamara officials have imposed on girls' basketball coach Mike Bozeman after it was discovered that Bozeman's team had exceeded the WCAC's limit for games played in the regular season.

Bishop McNamara suspended Bozeman from coaching in games for the rest of the season because his top-ranked team played 30 regular season games -- one more than WCAC bylaws permit. Hardage backed that penalty yesterday, but WCAC schools can press for a tougher sanction by appealing to the conference's advisory board by noon today.

"The steps McNamara took after they made a mistake carried a lot of influence, and there were some other circumstances, too," Hardage said. "I think McNamara should be allowed to play in the tournament, but that's just my personal opinion."

DeMatha Principal Dan McMahon, the head of the advisory committee, said no school appealed yesterday. But St. John's girls' basketball coach Eddie Simpson -- whose team is ranked fifth in the area -- said he expected officials at his school to file an appeal this morning.

St. John's Athletic Director Paul DeStefano could not be reached to comment last night.

McNamara Principal Marco Clark did not explain how McNamara wound up playing more than 29 games.

"I don't know if Coach Bozeman knew about the 30-game rule, but he should have known about the rule," Clark said.

-- Jon Gallo