The South Central Athletic Conference in Washington handed down sanctions Wednesday for Connell High School stemming from allegations of racist remarks directed toward Zillah High School girls' basketball players of color during a game Saturday.
As reported by the Yakima Herald-Republic, SCAC president and Naches Valley athletic director Ty Kime said he and his fellow ADs decided by majority vote to ban Connell’s boys' and girls' basketball teams from competing in the league’s postseason, scheduled for June 8, 10 and 12. In addition, no Connell fans will be allowed to attend home or away competitions for the remainder of the school year.
“We are going to strive to improve sportsmanship and to engage school spirit as a league,” Kime said. “There’ll be some things we set in place for next year to further educate coaches, players and communities.”
According to Herald-Republic reporter Luke Thompson, those sanctions come on top of Connell’s self-imposed sanctions, which included banning student fans from basketball games indefinitely. Kime said any punishments for individuals involved in the alleged incident, in which racist language and offensive gestures directed at Zillah players was caught on video, would be administered by Connell or the North Franklin School District.
Kime said the SCAC felt it needed to make a statement since these kinds of investigations can take a long time. Kime said it’s unclear whether Connell plans to appeal.
The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association also released a statement Wednesday affirming its commitment to prohibiting racism at high school sporting events. No specific schools or incidents were referenced by the WIAA, which Kime said has communicated with both Zillah and Connell since the incident became public this week.