Lifsey put on leave at City

Whether coach followed ref center of investigation

High Schools

January 25, 2002|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

City basketball coach Derrick Lifsey has been removed indefinitely from his position by Baltimore City school officials pending the outcome of an investigation into whether or not Lifsey followed a referee to his car and threatened him after the Knights' 55-51 loss to visiting Walbrook on Tuesday.

The Knights won yesterday's game against Patterson, 46-33, under the direction of junior varsity coach Chris Kelly.

A second-year coach, Lifsey is an administrative assistant in charge of security and discipline at City. Wayne Randall, commissioner of Baltimore City referees, citing a report by the referee involved in the confrontation, said Lifsey had to be escorted by a school policeman from the parking lot back to the school. Randall said no contact was made during an argument, but that the referee was concerned about his safety.

Lifsey, who was given a technical foul in the game, would not comment yesterday about the incident. City principal Joseph Wilson said: "I won't comment on any aspect of this matter until I'm assured that all of the facts have been shared with the proper authorities and they've made a determination."

Lifsey and Wilson were present during a one-hour meeting at City on Wednesday, where they discussed the issue with Randall, school athletic director George Petrides and Jessica Ivey, the acting city schools athletic director.

"It was simply a discussion, and each party had the opportunity to express their concerns, their feelings," said Ivey, who has taken over for city schools athletic director Bob Wade while he recuperates from back surgery. "Nothing has been resolved yet because we have to get statements from all parties involved.

"Once that information comes in, it will be decided by the central office what will happen as far as the penalty is concerned," Ivey said. "I've given some of the information to Dr. Patricia Abernathy, the curriculum and instructions officer, and I'm sure she'll confer with our chief academics officer, Dr. Cassandra Jones.

"He's suspended at this time until all information is in and has been checked and looked at by the central office. Until we've made the decision, it's one of those things where one is saying one thing and one is saying another."

Randall said he made a recommendation at the meeting that Lifsey "should be suspended for a game."

Added Randall: "If I let [Lifsey] do it, then all of the coaches will start doing it. My main concern has to be the safety of my officials."

Randall said an off-duty police officer working as a school policeman heard the two men arguing and "escorted Lifsey back into the building."

Listed on the City College Web site as an administrative assistant in charge of security, discipline and cafeteria service, Lifsey "is an education associate ... a college graduate at a teacher level who has assignments created by the principal," Wilson said.

"In the case of Mr. Lifsey, it's as a disciplinarian for certain grade levels," Wilson said. Lifsey also "supervises our private security force and he's our liaison to the Baltimore City police."

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