Wednesday, January 31, 2018

TSSAA Investigating Basketball Brawl

This past Saturday, January 27th a fight broke out during a boys basketball game between Brainerd High School in Chattanooga and Austin-East Magnet School in Knoxville.

With two minutes to go in the first half, two players, one from Austin-East and one from Brainerd, hustled after a loose ball.

As both players scrambled for the ball, surveillance footage shows the Austin-East player threw the ball at the Brainerd player. In retaliation, the Brainerd player punched the Austin-East player while both were still on the floor in front of the Austin-East bench: per source.

Afterwards, both benches emptied, and altercations were taking place all over the court: the fans, and the players. The game was suspended at that point with Austin-East leading 36-32.

News reports indicate that local law enforcement officials are investigating where criminal charges may be warranted.

One TSSAA Basketball Supervisor, who was in attendance, stated the altercation was the "worst he has ever seen in 36 years." It was reported to the TSSAA that an older man stated he was afraid for his life.

Article 1, Section 7, of the TSSAA Bylaws states:

"The principal of each school, in all matters pertaining to the athletic relations of his/her school, is responsible to this Association Administrators must realize that they have more responsibilities that the general public to understand the purpose of high school athletics and the principles behind the TSSAA rules, and they must maintain that level of understanding and purpose when dealing with the general public and students. The principal shall exercise control over all finances, the scheduling of contests, and all other matters involved in the management of the school's athletic program."

Until this incident is thoroughly investigated and effective administrative action is taken by each school's administration to address it, deal with those responsible, and prevent future incidents of this type, the boy's basketball teams at both Brainerd High School and Austin-East Magnet High School are suspended until further notice.