INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Describing a fight during a recent game as “violent,” the Indiana High School Athletic Association suspended the remainder of the varsity girls’ basketball season for Ben Davis High School and Pike High School on Monday.
Members of the two teams were involved in a fight during the fourth quarter of the game Saturday at Ben Davis High School. Both teams will be forced to forfeit the game.
“Remorse doesn’t solve our issue,” IHSAA Commissioner Bobby Cox said. “I’m hopeful people are going to understand this is serious.”
Every coach and player on both teams will be required to take an online sportsmanship course, Cox said.
“We take no pleasure in issuing these kinds of penalties, but it’s consistent and it’s strong and it’s determined in how we’re going to administer sportsmanship in our state,” he added.
Both teams will be on probation for the 2016-2017 season.
“This probation is a severe type of warning,” IHSAA explained in a statement. “It is official notice that serious violations have occurred, are a matter of record and future, similar incidents will not be tolerated.”
When asked about a possible legal battle, Cox said IHSAA is willing to fight the suspensions in court.
“I hope it sends a message that we’re looking for proper sportsmanship,” he said of the penalties.IHSAA suspension overturned last year
Last year, IHSAA cancelled the post seasons for Hammond and Griffith high schools in Lake County after a brawl on the court.
The schools appealed the ruling. The appeal was denied by a review panel, but a judge overturned the ruling in time for the teams to play in sectionals.