AD: Parents, spectators 'behaved badly' during Newton, Salina Central matchup

(KWCH) Monday, March 2, 2020

(Source: NFHS)

The Kansas State High School Activities Association continues to look into an incident where an official left the high school basketball game early.

In the match-up between Newton and Salina Central, the Newton Railers received six technical fouls, the team's head coach was ejected from the game, a fan was ejected after coming onto the court and a referee left without finishing the game.

On Friday, Eyewitness News obtained e-mails sent between administrators and staff at Newton High School.

Through them, we learned Assistant Principal and Athletic Director Brian Becker reported to Superintendent Deborah Hamm that parents and spectators were behaving badly throughout the first half of the game.

He said he had never seen that level of behavior from a crowd in his 20-year career.

Additional law enforcement was called in for the second half of the game, including a trooper with the Kansas Highway Patrol.

The fan who was ejected from the game will not be allowed to attend any other games for one year.

The athletic director says he regrets not warning the crowd to calm down or he would clear the building.

Hamm says Railers Coach Andy Preston will have to take part in a sportsmanship training program and sit out the first game of the 2021 season because he violated the team's code of conduct.

She also says the district plans to better communicate to fans what is expected of them and that good sportsmanship means fans can disagree with a call but that doesn't mean they shouldn't honor and respect the person who made it.

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Monday, March 2, 2020

New video from a basketball game between Newton and Salina Central shows the moment a fan walked onto the court prior to the referee's exit.

Bill Faflick, the executive director for KSHSAA, said he's seen this particular angle of the video. He said it would be presumptuous to assume that the fan walking towards the court is the why the official left the game.

Faflick said the fan had no business to be on the court and was immediately stopped by the school's administration and told to leave the game.

He said in these situations, the correct protocol would be for the officials to stop the game and meet with building administrators to alert them of any problems that would potentially interfere with the game.

State basketball tournaments start next week, and Faflick said he hopes, fans, coaches, players, and officials all learn from last Tuesday.

"We know that everybody has a role that they need to play. Officials have to adjudicate the event, coaches have to coach their kids, hold them accountable and help them improve. Our players seek to play and they play to win and our fans need to be there to enjoy the contest," said Faflick.

Faflick would not comment on whether the official who left the game early would have any consequences for the decision but said KSHSAA is continuing to be in communication with the crew that worked that game.

As for the players and coaches that were ejected, Faflick said there are conditions for their return to competition.

Athletes must complete an online sportsmanship course. Once they finish, KSHSAA is notified and they can return to games unless the school or the district hands down further consequences.

Coaches must finish a similar course on teaching and modeling behavior. They are allowed to be involved in practices, but can not coach in any competitions.

Faflick said this is the same for any KSHSAA sport.

Read the original version of this article at www.kwch.com.