Arlington, Tenn. — The girls’ basketball team at Arlington High School saw their season come to an abrupt end after the son of the team’s head coach hit a Dyer County coach in the face, according to the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association.
The TSSAA announced Thursday that, along with fines and other penalties, the girls’ basketball team will not be allowed to enter the postseason girls’ basketball tournament or receive any awards recognizing their finish in the regular season which the team finished 13-2 overall.
The disciplinary action comes after the son of the Arlington High School Girls’ Basketball coach punched a Dyer County coach several times, according to the TSSAA.
Though the child who attacked the coach is not an Arlington Community Schools student, the TSSAA claimed that the connection between the school and the boy was strong enough for the severe punishment.
The TSSAA said that after the assault several of the Arlington girls’ basketball players left with the head coach’s son who attacked the Dyer County coach.
Arlington High School reportedly offered the TSSAA a list of self-imposed disciplines including suspending the girls’ basketball program for 2 games, banning the child responsible for the attack from campus for the remainder of the year, not allowing the girls’ team to host or participate in any camps this summer, imposing a 2-year probationary period for the program, discussing how actions like this attack could be prevented and no longer scheduling Dyer County High School for any regular season basketball contest.
The TSSAA agreed with these terms but felt additional measures were needed, citing an “absence of sportsmanship.”.
“The TSSAA and its member schools believe strongly that the major purpose of athletics at the secondary level is to be part of the total education program,” a press release from the TSSAA read. “A major part of this purpose is to stress to coaches, players, officials, and fans the vital importance of sportsmanship. It is critical that all people in each of these categories understand the major role that they play and the role model that they can be for others.”
So, the TSSAA also placed the Arlington High School Girls’ Basketball team on restrictive probation for the remainder of this season and all of next season, banning the team from being able to participate in this season’s postseason girls’ basketball tournament.
The girls’ basketball program will also be fined a total of $2,000, according to the TSSAA.
A spokesperson for Arlington Community Schools told FOX13 that the boys’ actions could have spurred from insults issued by the Dyer County coach toward his mother, the Arlington High School head coach.
“ACS is aware of last night’s incident involving a minor and the Dyer County High School basketball coach,” the spokesperson said. “The minor is not an Arlington Community Schools student. It’s been reported to law enforcement that the Dyer County coach was allegedly directing insults towards the AHS coach after last night’s game in the parking lot when the incident involving the minor occurred. The minor will not be allowed on ACS property for the remainder of the school year, and we are reviewing the actions of the Dyer County coach to determine whether a competitive partnership will continue in the future. It’s unfortunate this type of behavior was displayed after a great showing by student-athletes in the Regional semifinals, and we hope this does not detract from both teams’ accomplishments.”
Now, parents like Alisha Boutain are wondering why the Lady Tigers players are being punished. FOX13 tried to find that out as well, but right now, no one has that answer.
“For us to wake up and find out about this today, it’s just crushing,” Boutain said. “I have no doubt in my mind that those girls would have went all the way to the end. Everything they went through with COVID and canceled games and they just fought hard and they practiced hard all season just to come in at 2:30 and it’s all over.”
Amidst confusion and disappointment, Boutain said players and parents will fight to save their season
“Something has to be done,” she said. “We missed our game tonight and that’s fine, but to say we’re done for the whole entire season and then you’re trying to penalize us for next season as well, something has to be done cause we’re not going to go away quietly.”
FOX13 has reached out to Dyer County Schools for comment about the incident.