Run-in ousts Sabers coach Behavior toward refs by Southwestern's Leverett being probed

Officials get police escort

Assistant takes over coaching of boys team

December 19, 1997|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF Derek Toney contributed to this article.

Terry Leverett has been removed as Southwestern High's boys basketball coach pending an investigation of his behavior toward referees following his team's loss at Randallstown on Saturday, sources close to the investigation say.

Leverett, who earned All-Metro Coach of the Year honors in The Sun last season after guiding the West Baltimore school to a 27-0, Class 4A state-title season, was replaced by assistant Michael Marks during Tuesday's victory over Carver. Marks also is expected to coach the No. 6-ranked Sabers in today's game at No. 14 Douglass.

Leverett could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Because it is a school personnel matter, city supervisor of athletics Bob Wade and Southwestern athletic director David Lang referred questions to principal Mildred Harris, who also could not be reached yesterday.

Leverett, a special education teacher at Southwestern, pulled his team off the court with 2: 49 remaining in the game against Randallstown shortly after receiving a technical foul for disputing a foul called on Sabers guard Terrell Dantzler.

"It was nonsense, just unrealistic calls, to me," Leverett said after the game. "I'm not saying that they were biased for Randallstown, but maybe they weren't good officials and they were picking their calls.

"As opposed to going with the flow of the game, they were like, 'It's time to call one on this team, it's time to call one on this team,' " Leverett said. "That's not officiating."

A report filed by one referee said that Leverett and some of his players waited for game officials at the door to the locker room area and later followed them to the school's parking lot. Leverett, the report states, aimed vulgar language at the referees, who were escorted to the parking lot by police.

This was the third incident -- the second in basketball -- in which referees have felt threatened after games involving Leverett-coached teams.

In the aftermath of a season-ending 66-65 basketball loss to Walbrook in 1992, several Southwestern players -- angered by a favorable ruling on a foul shot with no time remaining -- assaulted referee Archie Shaw after the game.

Shaw wrote then-principal David Benson, detailing how he was shoved, kicked and pelted with items by four players. Shaw requested suspensions of the four players and Leverett, whose actions Shaw felt had incited the players.

Leverett contended he did not see any of his players involved. He also said he helped lead Shaw to the dressing room, standing between the official and the crowd to prevent Shaw from being hit.

On May 10, 1994, Leverett, who also is the Sabers' baseball coach, confronted two umpires after Southwestern lost the second five-inning game of a double-header to Edmondson. Benson filed a letter of reprimand and required Leverett to receive counseling.

Billy Ryan, one of the umpires, wrote that Leverett wanted the game stopped because of darkness. Leverett followed Ryan and the other official, Bob Schutz, to their cars after the game, cursing at them, the report said.

Then-city baseball commissioner Jimmy Diggs condemned Leverett's remarks as "not only unethical, unsportsmanlike and demeaning," but having "no place in high school sports."

Diggs later attended another game and recalled yesterday that he "observed [Leverett] and thought that the language and behavior was inappropriate for high school sports."

Pub Date: 12/19/97

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