Penalties Follow Fight

February 4, 2019

Four high schools in Memphis, Tenn., have been placed on restrictive probation by the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association, which will bar them from postseason play through the next academic year, after they brawled on January 25.

According to the  Commercial Appeal, fights broke at games between Wooddale and Melrose, and Fairley and Westwood. The brawl between Wooddale and Melrose began when a Wooddale player was fouled, then retaliated by throwing the ball at a Melrose player while heading to the free throw line. The brawl between Fairley and Westwood started after the game, when a Farley coach jumped between two players who were about to fight, resulting in fans coming onto the floor.

The four teams may continue regular-season play but may not play in the post-season, and any coaches or players who were ejected must sit out two games.

All four programs were fined $3,500 each, and if any unsportsmanlike incidents occur, the TSSAA may sanction the entire program.

Joris Ray, interim Superintendent for Shelby County Schools, tweeted that he did not believe that entire teams should be punished.

"We're holding the few students involved accountable for recent incidents at games, but let's not penalize entire teams — most of those involved were adults, not students. As a community, we must model better for our students," Ray tweeted.

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