SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – After allegations of racism and unsportsmanlike conduct among fans, coaches, and administrators at two Utah high schools, the Utah High School Activities Association issued several penalties.
A five-member panel of the Utah High School Activities Association (UHSAA) executive committee members was tasked with investigating allegations brought by Intermountain Christian School (ICS) against Tabiona School claiming violations of the organization’s sportsmanship rules. Tabiona High administrators, in turn, denied the allegations and asserted a “counter-claim” against ICS for similar matters.
The controversy stems from two separate games in January and February between ICS and Tabiona.
One fan is found to have said, “Go home blackie. Blackie go home.”
That fan also used the N-word to describe Tim Drisdom, coach of Intermountain Christian School.
As part of the decision released by UHSAA Friday, Tabiona and its principal are ordered to request Leon Casper — the fan — be absent from games for a year.
“I’m honestly disappointed,” said Drisdom.
“You’re asking a racist town to ask a fellow racist to not be racist,” said Drisdom.”It just wasn’t enough,” he added.
According to the report, “…the Panel concludes that there exists among some portion of the Tabiona fan base overt racism and a willingness to accept not only that racism but untoward harassment of student/athletes.”
“People need to be respected, and people need to feel safe, and that’s all we’re trying to do,” said Drisdom.
For his part, Drisdom acknowledges fault himself. After he says he was taunted by a Tabiona player, he grabbed that player’s hand after the game and told him, “You’re not about that life.”
The player viewed it as a threat on his life.
Drisdom is on probation, and faces a 2-game suspension.
By phone, Tabiona head coach Lee Gines told ABC4 he doesn’t think the board got it right.
He says there isn’t a racism problem — but “a coach threatening his players problem.”
“I did nothing wrong,” said Gines.
After a review, UHSAA, imposed the following penalties:
- Tabiona School and Principal Jenkins must request that Leon Casper not attend any Tabiona activity sponsored by the association for the period of one year.
- Following that time, if he refuses that request, whenever Casper is at a basketball game, he is to be accompanied by a member of the Tabiona administration as a “minder” to assure that he does not make a racial slur or harass any opposing coach or player.
- Casper is to be seated behind the Tabiona bench at least 10 rows from the playing floor. Following each Tabiona basketball game, this “minder” is to submit to the association, a report of his behavior.
- Tabiona and Principal Jenkins are to identify the fans in the video who are taunting CK. They are to inform those fans that their conduct is detrimental to Tabiona High School and that further taunting or harassment of opposition players can result in removal or injunctive action. Tabiona is to carefully monitor the behavior of these fans and, if the behavior violates the Sportsmanship Rules, Tabiona is to remove them or any one of them from that contest and assign a minder to that fan for the remainder of the year.
- These procedures shall be followed for three school years, beginning in 2019- 2020. Should Casper object to these procedures and refuse to follow Tabiona’s requests, Tabiona shall file in State Court, together with the UHSAA, a request for a permanent restraining order against Casper with the effect of barring him from school premises.
- Tabiona High School shall pay to the UHSAA $6,000, which amount represents the maximum fine of $1500 per violation for the following four violations: (1) failure to supervise Casper following his racial outburst at the prior ICS game; (2) failure to remove Casper from the Tabiona gym following his effort to find Coach Drisdom and call him an “asshole;” (3) violation of the Sportsmanship Rules by permitting Casper to sit directly in front of Coach Drisdom and the ICS team; and, (4) failure to supervise and remove the rabid fans who were taunting CK.
- Tabiona shall be placed on probation for a period of three years, during which time it shall be subject to Sportsmanship audits scheduled by the UHSAA for each sports season
- Principal Jenkins will be fined $250.00. Coach Gines will be fined $250.00.
- Tabiona High School must engage with the school and the community to discuss and remedy the evils of racism.
INTERMOUNTAIN CHRISTIAN SCHOOL
- ICS will be placed on probation and fined $1,000 for lack of institutional control “not only for the misbehavior but for permitting a parent into the secure area of the locker room hallway that almost result in violence; Coach Drisdom is fined $250 for this violation
- ICS must assign a “minder” to accompany Duane Koski at all basketball games to monitor his behavior. If he refused the ICS shall file a restraining order to keep him from any game
- Coach Drisdom will be placed on probation for his inappropriate interaction with a Tabiona player. He will be suspended for the first two games of the 2019-20 basketball season.