2007-11-30 / Sports

Abusive Spectators Cause BCHS Forfeit

By Elio Velez

The Beach Channel Lady Dolphins had their chance to make some noise in their first varsity game of the season at home against Benjamin Cardozo last Wednesday evening.

Instead, an altercation between two courtside observers, reportedly a parent of a BCHS player and an older sibling, and the referees sparked a forfeit that left the players and the BCHS coach upset and embarrassed.

The two were loud in their complaints about the calls made against the school by the ref and abusive to them personally.

Finally, school security officers surrounded them and demanded that they stop. They did not, and were asked to leave the gymnasium. They refused to comply.

When it got to be too much for the refs, they called the game a forfeit in favor of Channel's opponents, Cardozo High School.

The scheduled 5 p.m. game was delayed 15 minutes due to a shot-clock malfunction. Once the game was started, the Lady Dolphins had a 7-6 lead in the first quarter with 52 seconds left when the game was stopped.

The black woman, who appeared to be in her late 30's, was sitting down in the gymnasium stands while carrying a young infant. The woman and the man became belligerent and hurled loud epitaphs at the referees.

The referees asked for them to be removed from the stands. They remained sitting and would not agree to move. If anything, they became more abusive to the refs.

After a 15-minute delay in which they did not depart from the building, the game was put to a halt.

Beach Channel basketball player Christina Salinas said that she didn't want her team to lose in a manner that was out of her team's control.

"We were doing a good job and keeping up with them. We could have had a chance to win," Salinas said.

"It's not the kids fault. It's the ones who started a problem who was watching us." The incident is unfortunately another black cloud hovering over a school that had its share of problems this year.

Salinas says this incident will just put more blame to the good students who are trying to make a positive

"We have a lot of good students here. This isn't a bad school," Salinas said.

Beach Channel coach Craig Kander feels sympathetic towards his players as some of them left the court saddened and distraught.

"Judging by the first quarter, we could have played with them. This is embarrassing. I feel bad for the girls," Kander said.

"They had nothing to do it and they were playing their hearts out but it just looks embarrassing for them and the school."

Beach Channel athletic director Victor Nazario stressed to the Wave that it wasn't the players or the students that caused the incident.

"Parents just didn't know how to conduct themselves. They (People) have to understand it wasn't the kids who started this. It had nothing to do with our players or their players. It wasn't even our students," Nazario said.

In a decision made at presstime, the school announced that "spectators will be allowed to watch games with some restrictions."

"We don't want to make a punishment that punishes everyone in this school."

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