Farragut and Clemente’s basketball teams have been suspended for two games by Chicago Public Schools after a fight occurred when the teams played on Nov. 30.
“Some young guys decided to show how tough they are,” Farragut coach William Nelson said. “They decided to play ball the way it isn’t supposed to be played.”
Nelson said his team was leading by about 20 points when the fight broke out. The game was played at Farragut.
“[Clemente] was taunting and taking people out in the air and pushing people and getting technical fouls,” Nelson said. “It was a hot mess. The referees warned everybody but it evolved into a mess.”
Wildcats coach Greg Fleming disagrees with Nelson’s assessment.
“We weren’t the aggressors,” Fleming said. “My team never threw a punch. Two punches were thrown from his players and we still didn’t throw a punch. I have my team under control.”
Fleming and Nelson both said tensions were high because a few of the players live in the same neighborhood and were heavily anticipating the game.
Nelson has been the coach at Farragut since 1991. Fleming took over at Clemente this season.
“I have a young team that is hungry and we aren’t backing down from anybody,” Fleming said. “It was a learning experience for us. We are gonna move forward from this.”
Clemente will forfeit its game against Clark on Dec. 3 and Wells on Dec. 8. The Wildcats won’t be allowed to have fans at their home game against Raby on Dec. 15.
Farragut will forfeit games against Orr on Dec. 8 and Young on Dec. 10. The Admirals won’t be allowed to have fans at their home game against Lane.
“I’m good with the punishment,” Nelson said. “I told the guys when they were leaving the bench that’s what was going to happen. I told them they were stupid and would get suspended. It was one of those things that could have been avoided.”
CPS Sports Administration sent the Sun-Times the following statement on the incident:
“After a recent altercation during the Farragut and Clemente varsity boys basketball game, the Office of Sports Administration along with the Farragut administration and Clemente Administration have agreed to suspend play for each school for the next two games. Additionally, fans will not be allowed to attend each of their first home games following the suspension. All student-athletes, coaches and staff will be required to complete Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) sportsmanship training following the suspension. Our office views sportsmanship as a priority for all of our sports programming, and we will continue to promote respect and a high level of competition between our CPL schools.”