Discipline, bans to come following FHS basketball incident

Published 11:42 am Wednesday, February 19, 2014

FRANKLIN—Fifty people in the stands and on the benches from both sides rushed the court during the Franklin High School and Surry County High School basketball game Friday night.

Principal Travis Felts said the incident occurred following a jump ball situation, as the two teams battled for the ball on the ground. The problem, he said, came when players and fans started to rush the floor as the referees were trying to separate the student-athletes.

“What we are dealing with were people in an unauthorized area,” said Felts. “If it had just been the kids on the court, we could have handled that.”

He added that nobody was hurt, and nobody threw any punches.

“I’m not the type to sugarcoat anything – it was not a good situation at all,” Felts said. “But it was not to the extent that everyone is thinking. There were not little fights breaking out all over the gym.

“I’ve watched the video. We had one kid get shoved in the chest, and luckily, he did not retaliate, as then it could have gotten out of hand.”

Police backup was called by the officers on the scene at 7:40 p.m., said spokesman Capt. Tim Whitt, and they arrived within minutes and dispersed the crowd. The game, which was not close, was called and the police helped the Surry team to their bus as a precaution. Whitt also confirmed that no one was hurt, and that police did not charge anyone during the incident.

Students, on both the Surry and Franklin side, have been disciplined, both those who came from the benches and the stands. Adults involved will receive bans from future Franklin High School sporting events, said Felts.

Felts said in all of his years, he’d never seen anything like this.

“I’ve been going to these events since I was a student,” he said. “To my memory, we’ve never had an incident like this.”