TENNESSEE, USA — Update (March 3): Farragut High School has won its appeal with the TSSAA, allowing the boys basketball team to advance to the region championship.
The Admirals will play Bearden High School on Friday night.
The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) eliminated the boys' basketball teams at William Blount and Farragut after an incident between the teams in a regional semifinals game on Tuesday night.
Original Story (March 2):
The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) has eliminated the boys' basketball teams at William Blount and Farragut after an incident between the teams in a regional semifinals game.
In letters sent to the principals of both schools, officials reported Tuesday's incident occurred as follows:
"With 1:38 left in the 4th quarter, a William Blount player drove to the basket and missed a shot, resulting in a Farragut rebound by #12. I called a common foul for holding on William Blount #20. After the whistle sounded, Farragut #12 threw an elbow and was ejected for a flagrant technical foul.
William Blount #20 then throws #12 to the ground and is ejected for committing a flagrant technical. #3 from Farragut aggressively wraps up WB #20 and the crew ejects him with a flagrant technical. #4 from Farragut also pushes WB #20 and he is ejected with a flagrant technical.
#5, #0, and #11 from WB enter the area of the altercation in an aggressive manner and were ejected for unsportsmanlike conduct for making contact with an opponent during a dead ball.
Each of the team members on the bench left the bench during the altercation and were assessed flagrant technicals and ejected. After the altercation ended and the crew got together, the official scorer was informed that each team member (whether on the court or bench personnel) would be assessed a flagrant technical foul and ejected.
None of the bench personnel were participants, so each coach was assessed one indirect technical for all bench personnel leaving. The game was suspended at that point due to there not being enough players on either side to continue.
During our postgame discussion as a crew we determined that the following players on the court had not participated in the altercation or committed unsporting acts: #13 and #14 from Farragut, and #2 from William Blount."
The TSSAA also gave both schools a $250 fine.
Farragut led William Blount by 13 points when the incident occurred. According to the TSSAA, Farragut can only appeal the misapplication of a rule, and the ejection of players—as well as suspending the game—was not a misapplication.
"The TSSAA and its member schools believe strongly that the major purpose of athletics at the secondary level is to be a part of the total educational program. A major part of this purpose is to stress to coaches, players, officials, and fans the vital importance of sportsmanship," said TSSAA Executive Director Bernard Childress in the letters.
The Bearden Bulldogs, who were supposed to play Farragut for the region championship on Thursday, have advanced to the sectional game. They will host that game on March 7.