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TSSAA denies Brainerd High's appeal of basketball season suspension after court brawl

The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) and Brainerd High School have agreed to a plan of action after a fight broke out at the home game with Austin-East Magnet High last Saturday.

UPDATE (Thursday 4:30 p.m.):

The TSSAA has denied the appeal from Brainerd and Austin-East.

The Board says they would be willing to hear another appeal by Brainerd administration "once significant progress has been made with these initiatives."

Depend on us to keep you posted.


PREVIOUSLY (Thursday 3:30 p.m.):

The TSSAA has confirmed that Brainerd High School officials are currently in Nashville appealing the decision to suspend the rest of the school's basketball season and postseason.

The plan to suspend the school's basketball season comes after a fight broke out at a game between Brainerd High and Austin-East Magnet High School.

We reached out to Hamilton County Department of Education spokesman Tim Hensley, who says that "the appeal is based on impact to students not currently on the team and will ask that the team not be banned from postseason next year."

TSSAA assistant executive director Matthew Gillespie says that they will release the board's decision at the end of the meeting.


PREVIOUSLY:

The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) and Brainerd High School have agreed to a plan of action after a fight broke out at the home game with Austin-East Magnet High last Saturday.

The TSSAA says just about two minutes left until halftime, two players went after a loose ball - #10 Derion Battle of Austin-East and #4 Jalen Wofford of Brainerd High. The TSSAA says Battle hit Wofford, who then punched Battle while they were still on the floor in front of the East bench. This began a fight with both benches and stands emptying onto the court as fans and players fought each other. The game was suspended. Read the entire TSSAA statement on the incident here.

Both Brainerd and Austin-East's basketball seasons were indefinitely suspended.

Friday, the Hamilton County Department of Education (HCDE) shared the plan agreed to by both Brainerd administrators and the TSSAA.

The TSSAA has fined the Brainerd High basketball program a total of $3,500 as a result of the incident.

Player Jalen Wofford will be suspended for the rest of the regular season and postseason, and players will be put on disciplinary probation for the reason of the 2017-2018 school year.

Additionally, interim principal Dr. Zac Brown says the upcoming game at Austin-East will not be played.

The TSSAA has also ruled that the boys’ basketball program at Brainerd High will be placed on restrictive probation for the remainder of the 2017-18 season.

During that time, the team will not be allowed to play during the postseason boys’ tournament or receive any award recognizing their regular season finish.

You can read the entire plan of action in the HCDE statement below:


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