If you’ve checked social media within the past 48 hours, chances are you’ve stumbled upon the brawl that broke out Saturday at Griffith High School.
Following a heated junior varsity basketball matchup, tensions escalated beyond belief in the varsity game. It was all-out war on the hardwood.
The video, filmed from the stands, shows a Hammond boys basketball player pushing a Griffith player from behind on a breakaway layup attempt.
The Griffith player crashed head-first into a wall and dropped straight to the ground.
Both benches then cleared, and the gloves were off with 5:32 left in the first quarter.
Players in the footage are seen throwing fists and shoving each other while officials, policemen and coaches try to break up the skirmish.
It appears that some of the parents even went at it on the court.
Once tensions calmed, the remainder of the game was canceled and dubbed a double-forfeit.
On Tuesday, the Indiana High School Athletic Association slammed both schools.
Both teams will cancel the remainder of their 2014-15 seasons and have been banned from this year’s state tournament. The teams would have played at Hammond Gavit in Sectional 17.
IHSAA Commissioner Bobby Cox and assistant commissioners Phil Gardner and Sandra Walter conducted a meeting with administrators and coaches to “review specific details of (the) incident and to chart a course of correction to ensure future incidents of this nature are eliminated.”
On top of the bans, both member schools will pay $500 to each hosting school on their remaining schedules: totaling $1,000 each from both schools.
The basketball teams have been placed on probation for the entire 2015-16 school year, so this year is a major warning.
The coaches, paid and voluntary, will complete the “Teaching and Modeling Behavior” course on NFHSLearn.com, and each athlete must complete the “Sportmanship” course on the same website.
As my friends in Australia would say, “Good on ya, IHSAA.”
The IHSAA made a stand on Indiana’s prized sport. The organization made it clear that violence will never be tolerated on the basketball court, and that if something like this happens you’re going to pay the hefty price.
I’ve seen one pushing and yelling match between parents at a Crothersville girls basketball game at Henryville. Both parties were ejected by the police during the incident.
The IHSAA, law enforcement and officials have done an excellent job of quelling any unruly fandom this season.
With sectionals starting up this week, this serves as a reminder to please keep your hands and feet inside the cabin as we prepare for postseason basketball.
Jordan Morey is sports editor for The Tribune. He can be reached at 812-523-7069 or [email protected].