Deputies were summoned to Irving College School after the girls basketball game Tuesday night to calm a heated exchange between fans and coaches.
Emotions began to spiral out of control after a tough game between Irving College and Eastside. Fans from the visiting team, who were seated behind the Lady Tiger bench, became very boisterous and taunting after the Eastside win.
Irving College coaches thought some of the celebration was being taken a bit too far as at least one fan made rude gestures behind the Lady Tiger bench. Irving College assistant coach Mitchell Young went into the stands to confront one particularly unruly fan.
“I asked if he would not act like that right behind our bench,” Young said of his conversation with one of the fans in question.
After the initial exchange, the coaches and their teams returned to the court to shake hands. However, around the same time, the Eastside fan celebration reignited. Then it was Irving College head coach Kim Young who approached the fan for a second exchange. At that point, the Irving College coach made a statement toward the fan – a comment she says was out of line.
“You’re not the champs,” Young admitted saying to the Eastside fan who had been chanting “We are the champs” while allegedly motioning to his groin. She then continued with, “Maybe they didn’t teach you to count in prison.”
The fan in question is African American, but Ms. Young said her comment did not have anything to do with race and was not meant to be interpreted as a racial slur.
The fan reportedly became increasingly agitated and others in the gym started to notice and moved closer to the situation, which was escalating.
Irving College principal Rachel Graves was summoned by the parties involved and moments later she decided it was time for the Eastside fan to leave the building, despite the rude statement made by the Irving College head coach.
As the frustration increased for the Eastside fan, he turned and walked away. As he walked away, he then lashed out with his own derogatory remark. His comment drew the attention of the Irving College crowd. Several parents became involved as tempers began to flare.
Many of the Eastside fans made their way outside with Irving College fans right behind. With a nasty situation looming, the sheriff’s department was called. The impending arrival of deputies was enough to disperse the crowd.
Coaches involved are scheduled to meet Friday with Warren County Director of Schools Bobby Cox and athletic director Todd Willmore.