A Southwestern High School basketball player has been suspended, and more suspensions could follow in the wake of Friday's incident during which an official said he was shoved, kicked and pelted with items after a basketball game against Walbrook.
Archie Shaw, the official who was assaulted by a group that included several Southwestern players, has sent a letter to the school principal and athletic director requesting that the four players he can identify and coach Terry Leverette be suspended for the incident, which erupted after a controversial ending to a 66-65 Walbrook victory, won on a free throw with no time remaining.
Walbrook guard Eric Carroll hit the winning free throw moments after he grabbed an offensive rebound and was fouled as he muscled in the miss. Southwestern argued that the shot came after the buzzer. Southwestern had led, 65-63, before the play. As he left the court, Shaw, the president of Board 290 of the International Association of Approved Basketball Officials, was surrounded by a group that included several disappointed Southwestern players.
"He doesn't know the names, but he remembers four numbers," said Tom McCann, commissioner of IAABO Board No. 290, which handles Maryland Scholastic Association games, who spoke to Shaw during the weekend and said Shaw sent the letter to the Southwestern principal.
Shaw could not be reached yesterday for comment.
"There was shoving, pushing and kicking. They moved the other official and wouldn't allow him to get near Archie," McCann said. "[An official for the junior varsity game] helped shove some of the kids away."
Leverette, who helped lead Shaw to the dressing room, said that towels also were thrown at the official during the incident near the Southwestern bench.
"I stood between him and the crowd, and I got hit, pushed and shoved," said Leverette, who didn't see any of his players involved. "I know towels were thrown -- some went right by my head."
School officials refused to identify the player who will miss today's game against Northwestern.
"A teacher saw him during the incident," Leverette said. "They said he didn't hit anybody, but he was trying to get at him kind of furiously and had to be restrained."
The incident concluded an afternoon in which there were heated exchanges in the stands between students from both schools -- who for three years shared the Southwestern building during an asbestos cleanup at Walbrook. One student was ejected from the gym, and school administrators on several occasions had to walk over to monitor the crowd.
"[Crowd control] is not only a problem at Southwestern, it's all over," said David Benson, Southwestern principal. "We were at several points ready to clear the gym. That's really the only way to settle something like that.
"I talked to the Walbrook principal before the game and expressed some concern about crowd control," Benson said. "I spent most of my time weeding out problems before they got into the gym. I didn't let my own students in there if they didn't have their ID."
School officials at Southwestern said they still were upset about the ending of the game, during which the then-No. 18 Sabers came close to upsetting the area's fifth-ranked team.
"An official has to have a sense about crowd control," Benson said. "He sensed some potential problems, and he could have stopped everything. But he didn't confer with anyone. He could have said, 'We can take a minute or two to discuss this.'
"I'm concerned about what happened afterward, and I have every intention of pursuing this," Benson added. "I'm concerned about student behavior. I'm also concerned about the official's control."
Leverette said the situation "was created by all the things that went down" during the game.
"They saw a guy calling a one-sided game, and it was clear to everyone in the gym that the game had ended," Leverette said. "[The crowd and players] overreacted, and I'm not condoning what they did."