IHSAA suspends coaches, players after fight - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Arsenal Tech dismisses football coach involved in on-field fight

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IHSAA Commissioner Bobby Cox IHSAA Commissioner Bobby Cox
INDIANAPOLIS -

Coaches and players are learning what punishments they face after a Friday night football game turned into a brawl right on the field.

This the fight between coaches, players and fans from Arsenal Tech and Fort Wayne South Side was captured on cell phone video.

There are no winners in the game, only losers.

The Indiana High School Athletic Association has declared a double forfeit for both teams. Tech was leading the game 24-6 when the game was forfeited in the third quarter.

"Everybody wants to win. Everybody has emotion, but at the end of the day, you have to control that emotion," said IHSAA Commissioner Bobby Cox.

Emotions, though, spun out of control last Friday.

"It's a collision sport," said Cox.

But last Friday's fight was not the kind of collision the IHSAA condones.

"We are different and we should be different than any other type of athletic opportunity," explained Cox.

Tech coach Emil Ekyior and Fort Wayne South Side coach Eddie Fields were given one-game suspensions Tuesday by the IHSAA.

Tech assistant Angelo Muhammad and South assistant Dan Muchler were suspended for rest of the season. The school announced in a release Tuesday night Muhammad had been dismissed from the football program.

Players identified by the schools also got one-game suspensions from the IHSAA, though they can be juggled over the final three regular-season games. Nine players from Tech will serve a one-game suspension, the school said.

"Rather than focus on the punitive aspect of this unfortunate event, we're trying to focus on the educational opportunities that we can now provide to our student athletes," said Cox.

That means coaches and players from both teams must take online courses that teach sportsmanship.

"Fifteen to eighteen-year-old students are going to play with emotion and they're going to play with passion and their coaches are going to coach with passion and when things like this occur, we have to deal with it swiftly and that's what we've done," said Cox.

Both teams are on probation. For the rest of the season, both teams will be under the microscope with someone from the IHSAA at each team's game watching to make sure everyone is on their best behavior.

Ekiyor told Eyewitness News that he, the players and coaches accept responsibility for their actions. Ekiyor said they will use this opportunity to learn, grow and become a better team.

Both teams are still eligible to be in the state tournament after the season. Ekiyor said the team will still play this weekend, just without him, nine players and an assistant coach.

The school also announced two sets of parents who entered the field during the fight will be banned from all school athletic events for the remainder of the school year.

Tech Athletic Director Victor Bush addressed the team about appropriate conduct and sportsmanship. The school will also send a formal letter of apology to Fort Wayne South officials.

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