Tennessee high school girls team out of playoffs after fan punched, assaulted opposing coach

Ryan Young
·2 min read
Generic basketball
An Arlington High School fan said he punched the opposing team's coach several times after a semifinals game this week, landing the coach in the hospital. (Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

A Tennessee high school girls basketball team was removed from the playoffs and placed on probation after a juvenile admitted to punching and attacking another team’s coach after a semifinals game on Tuesday, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

The girls basketball team at Arlington High School in Memphis took down Dyer County 61-41 in the Region 7-AAA semifinals on Tuesday. After the game, per the report, a juvenile Arlington fan said he punched Dyer County coach Derek McCord several times.

“A young man identified as an Arlington High School fan assaulted [Derek] McCord, Dyer County Head Girls’ Coach, striking him from the side,” a letter from the Tennessee state athletic association said, via the Commercial Appeal. “Coach McCord was knocked down and punched several times while he was on the ground. It was reported that there were probably five other individuals with this young man.”

McCord reportedly had injuries to his right ear, and was taken to a hospital. The juvenile, who was not named, was charged with simple assault. He told police that he punched McCord because he was talking bad about his mother, per the report, and also said that another Dyer County coach punched him.

Arlington was fined $2,000 for the incident, and is now banned from next year’s playoffs. They can’t host individual camps or participate in team camps until the end of next season, and can no longer schedule Dyer County in either girls or boys basketball.

Arlington was going to take on Hardin County in a regional championship game on Thursday. Since they were ruled ineligible, Hardin County was named the regional champion and will now move on to sectionals.

“We’re disheartened the actions of a few have led to such great consequences for the entire team, but as a team sport, you rise and fall together,” Arlington’s communications coordinator said in a statement, via the Commercial Appeal. “It’s a lesson that actions have consequences, and sometimes that can also impact the innocent.

“The decisions made after Tuesday’s game do not represent the values AHS motivates its players to live by, and AHS administrators will work even harder in the future to make sure our coaches and athletes understand the importance of personal and team responsibility and leadership.”

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