BC-UT--High School Basketball-Dispute,1st Ld-Writethru, UT
MIDVALE, Utah (AP) — Two Utah high schools have called for disciplinary action against each other over allegations of racial slurs, threats and an attempted assault following boys’ basketball games.
Lawyers for the school and district argued their cases Monday before a Utah High School Activities Association panel.
Intermountain Christian School has claimed Tabiona High School officials did nothing to stop a fan from yelling racial slurs at the Intermountain coach at a basketball game in mid-January. The coach is black.
The Duchesne School District has claimed an Intermountain parent nearly assaulted the Tabiona coach and the Intermountain coach threatened a Tabiona player after a game between the two schools in February.
The school in the Salt Lake City suburb of Halladay wants the panel to suspend Tabiona coach Lee Gines for up to five years. The school in the rural town of Tabiona wants the panel to sanction Intermountain coach Tim Drisdom.
Intermountain attorney Frank Mylar said Tabiona fans “crossed the line and they know it” when the racial taunts were hurled at the coach.
“It’s garbage that you just throw up your hands and say, ‘We can’t do anything about it,’” Mylar said. “If you don’t take that action, you’re guaranteed nothing is going to change.”
Tabiona attorney Blake Ostler said the school officials and the team were not at fault.
“Don’t punish the players and the teammates who didn’t do anything wrong,” Ostler said. “Don’t punish the school, the administration and all the people in Tabiona who didn’t do anything wrong.”
Ostler asked the panel to issue an appropriate punishment against Intermountain coach Drisdom, claiming he threatened a student after a game. Drisdom has denied the allegation.
The association panel will review the case and will likely issue a disciplinary action decision within 10 days, said Mark Van Wagoner, the association’s attorney.