MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Four Memphis high schools have been banned from post-season play this year and next after fights broke out at basketball games.
Now some think the ban is putting students’ futures in jeopardy.
The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association made the decision after a recent fight at Westwood High School, which got their boys basketball team and Fairley High School’s team banned from the post-season.
TSSAA says it all started when a Westwood and Fairley player started mouthing off to each other right after the game ended.
Benches cleared and fans ran onto the court as security officers struggled to gain control.
High school basketball fan Arthur Triplett agrees with punishing the teams but thinks banning them from two postseasons is extreme.
"A lot of those guys have scholarships they're trying to get, and this will put a damper on that," Triplett said.
That’s because players won’t be seen by college scouts who come to playoff games.
"Now I can understand if you penalize them for a year, but two years, that means if you're a junior you can't get a college to come see you because you've been penalized and can't play."
Melrose and Wooddale’s teams are also banned from postseason play because of a recent fight. Fans rushed the court in that one too.
Triplett suspects most were young parents.
"It's children raising children and that's why the parents come out and get into fights like that, because they don't know any better," he said.
Shelby County Schools is appealing the ban and has stepped up security at all games because of the fights.
Triplett agrees with beefing up security and hopes the district’s appeal is successful.
"Regardless of what happened, some of those kids, this will be their only opportunity to go to college and you don't want to take that from them," he said.