IHSA to investigate report of Leo player punched at Seton game

2013-12-21T11:45:00Z 2013-12-22T12:28:54Z IHSA to investigate report of Leo player punched at Seton gameBill Dolan bill.dolan@nwi.com, (219) 662-5328 nwitimes.com
December 21, 2013 11:45 am  • 

SOUTH HOLLAND | The Illinois High School Association will investigate a report of a basketball player throwing a punch Friday night during a game at Seton Academy.

Ed Adams, athletic director for Chicago's Leo High School, said Saturday one of his players was punched in the face with a minute left in Friday night's game with Seton Academy. Neither Adams nor Leo President Dan McGrath said they were sure if the player who was punched, Kiwan Smith, will press charges against the Seton player.

The game was not completed with 6.6 seconds left and Seton leading 49-47.

Deon Tolliver, athletic director for Seton Academy, declined comment Saturday morning.

Matt Troha, assistant executive director for IHSA, said in a text message he was disappointed to learn of the incident and would look into it.

McGrath said the game was stopped with 6.6 seconds left after the punch was thrown and both benches emptied. He said the crowd came onto the court, but security did a good job of not letting it get out of control.

"Seton administrators, security and the South Holland police did a nice job of clearing the floor and getting everybody out of there," McGrath said. "Both coaching staffs did a great job to separate the players and made sure it didn't turn into a bad situation."

He thought the game would resume once the gym was cleared, but the officials said there would not be enough players as the IHSA rules state that if a player leaves the bench, he is ejected.

"What about the 10 who were already on the floor?" McGrath said. "The official told me two on the floor were ejected for fighting and that would leave four.

"You can still play with four, according to the rules."

He said he did not know if Leo will have enough players for its next game, set for 4 p.m. Thursday against Joliet Central at the McDipper. If a player is ejected, he must sit the next game.

Seton plays King at 9 a.m. Thursday at the McDipper.

Troha said in another text he anticipates all involved will serve penalties, but it depends on how fast the IHSA can get a tape of the game and the officials' report.

This comes after the IHSA sanctioned Seton's former basketball coach Brandon Thomas for inappropriate behavior March 9 at the 2013 IHSA Class 2A Boys Basketball State Championship game between Harrisburg High School and Seton.

The IHSA cited Thomas for an obscenity-laced tirade in the presence of student players during the first half of the game and for bypassing offers of congratulations from the IHSA board of directors and the governor of Illinois, throwing his medal to an assistant coach and having to be restrained by security and police from entering the stands during a dispute with a fan.

Players from Seton Academy had reported racial taunting by members of the Harrisburg team. The IHSA said it didn't dispute what the Seton players said they heard, but couldn't corroborate that taunting took place either.

Seton Academy is a Catholic coeducational college preparatory high school sponsored by the Archdiocese of Chicago.

— Times staff writer Mike Nieto contributed to this report.

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