An Arizona high school boys basketball tournament Saturday was marred by a wild brawl that broke out in the handshake line which spilled into the stands.
Skyline High School defeated Cesar Chavez High School, 63-57, in the championship game of the Phoenix Union High School District Coyote Classic basketball tournament. The fight occurred as players from both schools were in the middle of the handshake.
According to video obtained by the Arizona Republic, the brawl started after a Cesar Chavez player punched a Skyline player. Video showed the melee spill into the stands with parents getting involved trying to break it up and fans fighting in the middle of the court.
Phoenix police helped break up the fight and authorities told the newspaper that no arrests were made.
David Hines, executive director of the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA), announced consequences for both high schools Monday in hopes that a fight like that would never happen again.
Cesar Chavez will forfeit its next game and a determination is still to come as to whether the high school boys team will play again this season. Any player directly involved with the fight will receive a three-game ban at the minimum. Officials also said that Cesar Chavez will issue a formal apology to Skyline and the tournament host school Phoenix Central.
“It was ugly,” Hines told the Arizona Republic. “The video is not good. Parents have to understand they cannot get involved. I understand they want to protect their kids. The schools will take appropriate consequences.
“What makes it difficult is our officials are off the court, it’s the end of the game. It still falls under some of our bylaws. Our schools can follow up and make appropriate adjustments to that. That’s what we expect them to do.”
According to the newspaper, each school will determine whether players are suspended and for how long.
“They will identify any other kids that we did not,” Hines said. “They’re taking this very seriously. They will deal with the kids from their end. They know there is no tolerance for this. We need to make a statement, understand that this is high school athletics. This behavior is unacceptable.”
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