Austin East, Brainerd basketball teams suspended after brawl

Local News

Two East Tennessee high school basketball teams have been suspended from further play after a brawl broke out at a game in Chattanooga on Saturday.

In the game between Austin-East Magnet High School and Brainerd High School, two players went to the floor in front of the Austin East bench battling for a loose ball when, according to officials, the Austin-East player, a junior, hit the Brainerd player, a senior, with the ball. The Brainerd player then punched the Austin East player while the two were still on the floor.

At that point, officials say the benches emptied and fights broke out across the gym between both players and fans. A player from Brainer High School was injured and taken to the hospital. The game was suspended with Austin-East ahead 36-32. 

In a letter sent to each school Monday, Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association officials informed the principals their boys’ basketball teams were suspended from further play while an investigation was completed.

“This is not simply a matter of two players having an altercation in the heat of the contest,” wrote TSSAA Executive Director Bernard Childress. “This melee reflects a loss of perspective by all those who participated in it. Occurrences like this undermine our ability to accomplish the objectives of high school sports and are simply unacceptable.

Childress ordered administrators from each school to step up and take responsibility of their spectators, coaches and players. He asked each school to submit a report detailing the actions they plan to take.

Before the suspensions, the two teams were slated to meet again in Knoxville on Saturday, Feb. 10. 

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