Season Ends for H.S. Basketball Teams After Brawl
The Indiana High School Athletic Association brought an abrupt end to the seasons of two high school basketball teams after a benches-clearing brawl between the squads caused the cancellation of a game this past weekend.
The association announced on Tuesday that all regular-season games for the boys' basketball teams from Hammond High School and Griffith High School have been cancelled, with each school forced to pay a $500.00 forfeiture fee for each remaining away contest on the teams' schedules. Both teams are also suspended from participating in the state basketball tournament, and shall not receive any revenue from this year's tournament, either.
Additionally, all varsity student-athletes on both teams must complete the "Sportsmanship" course on the National Federation of State High School Associations' website, while each coach must complete the "Teaching and Modeling Behavior" course. Both teams will be placed on probation for the entire 2015-16 school year, which signifies that "serious violations have occurred, are a matter of record and future, similar incidents will not be tolerated." If either team gets into additional trouble, it could lead to their entire school being suspended from the state high school association.
On Saturday, with Griffith leading 4-0 early in the game, Hammond's Tim Echoles shoved Griffith's Anthony Murphy in the back as he drove in for an easy fast-break layup, per The Indianapolis Star. The push sent the Griffith player head-first into the wall, which caused coaches and players to leave their benches to diffuse the situation. Unfortunately, some fans also spilled onto the court, and things spiraled out of control from there, with punches being thrown.
The Times of Northwest Indiana captured video of the brawl:
"You can't take a shot at a kid like that," Griffith coach Gary Hayes told The Times after the brawl. "Somebody's going to get hurt real bad."
Officials ultimately called the game at 4-0, with police having to break up the fracas. The IHSAA decided Tuesday to rule the contest as a double forfeit.
Police obtained footage of the brawl Saturday night to determine whether they could identify any adults coming onto the floor, per The Times. Hammond's athletic director, Larry Moore Sr., told the paper that his school is planning on filing charges against an adult who allegedly struck one of Hammond's players.
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