High school baskeball brawl to be investigated

THE Ministry of Education has announced an investigation into the all-out brawl that broke out during a basketball game between CC Sweeting and CI Gibson senior high school students.

The melee took place on Monday night at the DW Davis Junior High School auditorium when the Government Secondary School Sports Association kicked off its 2012 senior boys basketball season.

“The ministry does not condone the actions or behaviour of those involved in the incident and will review the facts to determine what penalties will be levied and inform the public of its decision,” said an official statement released last night.

It said the investigators are now awaiting reports from the agencies involved, including the New Providence Association of High School Principals (NPAHSCP) and the GSSA.

Chaos erupted during the third quarter of the feature game between rival CI Gibson Rattlers and the CC Sweeting Cobras, causing the game to be called off

“I felt the coaches had no control,” said Tony Williams, who with Kennedy Polidor officiated the game. “If we keep letting this happen, we will destroy the game. Every year we have this same problem. We just have to stop the game and plan where we go from here.”

Before the game started, Mr Williams said he requested from the GSSSA president Alfred Forbes and Evon Wisdom, the Sports Director of the Ministry of Education, to call for police to be on hand, but only one officer showed up and it was quite obvious that he was not able to contain the crowd, he said.

However, one of the coaches involved said he blamed the referees.

Declining to identify himself, the coach said he believed if referees had a better handle on the game in calling fouls when players were attacked during a play here and there, it would have been a different story.

“When we asked why the fouls were not called, the referees said they were just soft fouls and there was no need to call them,” the coach said. “But if one referee was calling the fouls on one end of the court, why weren’t the calls being made on the other end of the court?”

In their defence, Mr Williams said he felt they called the game fairly, but, in his view, the coaches didn’t do their job.

Even after the brawl broke out, Mr Williams said it turned out to be “open season” as “all hell broke loose.”

He said players were on the court fighting each other, some players came off the bench and fought each other and even some fans came out of the stands and were fighting.

Mr Williams said he ended up finding himself in the middle of the melee trying to part players and fans from fighting each other.

As a result of what happened, Mr Williams said the officials are refusing to go back on the court and continue calling any more games until they meet with the GSSSA and resolve the issue of fans’ control in the gym.


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