UPDATE: TSSAA denies Brainerd High's appeal following fight at b - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: TSSAA denies Brainerd High's appeal following fight at basketball game

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: The TSSAA denied Brainerd's appeal on Thursday.

That means the original punishment for the on court fight with Austin-East stands firm. They're on probation through 2021.

One player remains suspended. They're banned from post-season play and they must pay a $3,500 fine. 


UPDATE:  Brainerd High School administrators have worked with the TSSAA to resolve the unsportsmanlike incident that occurred during a recent boys basketball game between Brainerd High and Austin-East Magnet High last weekend. 

Each school involved in the incident submitted a plan to deal with the situation and it was reviewed by officials from TSSAA.

In the response from the TSSAA, the organization accepted the Brainerd plan to:

  1. Communicate the school’s expectations for behavior at school events with parents, students and community members
  2. School administration will meet with all school coaches and assistant coaches to discuss expectations and responsibilities.  The administration will emphasize the purpose of high school athletics and the principles behind TSSAA rules.
  3. The school administration will collaborate with district staff to submit a security plan acceptable to district staff before all sports contests.
  4. The school administrators will continue to work with the SRO to identify fans who need to be banned from further contests.
  5. Player #4 is suspended for the rest of the regular season and postseason
  6. Players will be placed on disciplinary probation for the rest of the 2017-2018 school year.

The school also recommended the team be suspended from play for the rest of the regular season, which included five games. 

The TSSAA did not accept that recommendation and will allow the team to play the rest of the regular season, including tonight’s game with Hixson High. 

One of the remaining games is scheduled for Austin-East Magnet and was to be played in Knoxville. The game at Austin-East will not be played according to Dr. Zac Brown, interim principal of Brainerd High.

The TSSAA also added additional actions against the Brainerd High program. 

The TSSAA actions include:

  • The school will be fined $500 for players and fans coming onto the floor during an altercation.
  • The boys’ basketball program at Brainerd High is being placed on restrictive probation for the remainder of the 2017-18 season beginning February 2, 2018.  The boys’ basketball program will also be on restrictive probation throughout the 2018-2019 school year and the basketball program will be fined $2,000.  During the period of restrictive probation, the boys’ basketball team will not be allowed to enter the postseason boys’ tournament series or receive any award recognizing their finish in the regular season.
  • The boys’ basketball program at Brainerd High is being placed on probation for the 2019-2020 and the 2020-2021 school years and fined an additional $1,000.  The boys will be allowed to participate in all regular and postseason contest during this probationary period. 

The total fine for the Brainerd boys’ basketball program is $3,500 as a result of the incident.

“We are pleased that the TSSA accepted the majority of our proposals to handle this very difficult and regrettable situation,” responded Dr. Zac Brown. 

“Brainerd High takes ownership of the incident in the game and we understand this is not the environment of sportsmanship we desire for our players, our students or our fans.” Brown added, “Our Brainerd community also understands the vitally important role extra-curricular activities play in the school’s climate and culture and the educational experience of our players and we want to ensure that we consider the interest of students not involved in the incident as well as future players.” 

For that reason, Brainerd High will appeal the decision to impose restrictive probation for the 2018-2019 school year and request the TSSAA place the team on probation instead.

“Brainerd High has taken immediate corrective actions to assure our students and spectators adhere to TSSAA sportsmanship standards and participate in extra-curricular activities in a manner that will be uplifting for themselves and the Brainerd community,” said Dr. Bryan Johnson, superintendent of Hamilton County Schools. “We pledge our schools and our system to the ideals of sportsmanship of TSSAA and we will work with them to provide growth experiences for our children through the positive attributes of sports that are so very important to our students.”


PREVIOUS UPDATE: Basketball players from Brainerd High and Austin East in Knoxville will not be hitting the court Tuesday night.

The TSSAA suspended both teams after a fight broke out during Saturday’s game. The fight involved dozens of people, including students, parents, and athletes. A TSSAA supervisor at the game said it was the worst fight he's seen in over 30 years. So, Hamilton County school officials are taking action to ensure the safety of players and fans.

"Sportsmanship is always important. Our student athletes, our students that are engaged in athletics, we expect them to hold high standards,” said Superintendent Dr. Bryan Johnson, “And we know they know that."

Dr. Johnson said Brainerd High School administrators are working on a discipline plan.

Both teams have to turn one in to the TSSAA before they will be allowed to play again. Administrators are also taking a look at security at the games.

"There's always a representation of officers that are present at all games,” said Dr. Johnson, “For us, we haven't had an incident of this magnitude throughout the year."

There are security cameras at the school but that footage is not being released right now.

Johnson said they will look for any other safety measures the school may be able to take in the future.

“I think any time you have an incident like this you come back to re-evaluate what you're doing to determine what precautions you need to put in place to ensure it doesn't happen again," said Dr. Johnson.

Neither team will be able to play until the TSSAA approves its disciplinary action.

Both teams are ranked in the top 10 in the state.

Stay with WRCBtv.com for updates to this story.


PREVIOUS STORY: The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office is asking that anyone with video form of Saturday's fight at the Brainerd basketball game come forward.

The HCSO is looking for video of the altercation or that contains information pertaining to individuals who were directly involved.

If you have video, you are asked to contact the HCSO at 423-893-3503, Ext. 261. You can also send in a tip online.

No arrests have been made.


PREVIOUS STORY: The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) has suspended both Brainerd and Austin-East's boys' basketball teams following Saturday night's fight. 

In a letter the TSSAA sent to each school, TSSAA Executive Director Bernard Childress explains that a TSSAA Basketball Supervisor who was in attendance at the game said it was the worst altercation he had seen in over 30 years.

The letter also includes a report submitted by officials that said:

"With a little over two minutes left before halftime, two players went to the floor for a loose ball. Then all of a sudden both players were in an altercation: #10 - Derion Battle of Austin East hit #4 - Jalen Woodford of Brainerd with the ball. In return, #4 Jalen Wofford punched the Austin East player while both were still on the floor in front of the East Bench: per Ken Adams. Afterwards, both benches emptied, and altercations were taking place everywhere: the fans, and the players. The game was suspended at that point with Austin East ahead 32-36."

The TSSAA says law enforcement is investigating whether charges should be filed.

You can read both letters below. 


PREVIOUS STORY: Hamilton County Schools has issued a statement about the fight that took place Saturday night at the Brainerd basketball game.

At a basketball game earlier tonight between Brainerd High and Austin-East of Knoxville, a fight broke out involving players and spectators from the stands.  Administrators and law enforcement at the game moved quickly to restore order.  One Brainerd High student was injured and taken to the hospital accompanied by parents in attendance at the game.  The student was treated and released. 

'I am disappointed in the actions displayed at tonight’s game,” said Dr. Zac Brown, interim principal at Brainerd High School. “We expect both teams and fans to display sportsmanship on and off of the court.'  He added, 'I do want to thank all of the Brainerd staff members and adults in the gym who intervened in the appropriate way.'

Hamilton County Schools and the administration of Brainerd High would like to thank law enforcement, security, coaches, and fans at the game who responded to the situation to protect players and spectators. The incident is under investigation by the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office.  


PREVIOUS STORY: A fight broke out between parents, students, and athletes at a high school basketball game between Brainerd and Austin East ending the game on Saturday.

The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office said one student was hurt and taken to the hospital. The extent of their injuries is unclear.

Deputies said charges may be pending based on the outcome of the investigation.

TSSAA Executive Director Bernard Childress said the game is considered no contest since it was not completed. Neither team can count it as a win.

Childress said they plan to talk with officials and school administrators. They also will review any game film that is available.

Stay with WRCBtv.com for more details on this developing story.

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