A fight that broke out Tuesday night between players on the Fordson and Redford Thurston boys basketball team at Fordson High School is being investigated, Dearborn Public Schools officials confirmed Wednesday.
No disciplinary actions have been taken at this time, though there is a possibility that some students could get suspended from games, or from school.
MLive reported Tuesday night that the fight broke out just after the game, and appeared to start when a Fordson player pushed a Thurston player as the teams were about to shake hands.
"From there, both benches just cleared," MLive intern Jon Corrigan, who was covering the game for the online publication, said in the site’s article on the incident. "Fans also ran onto the court, including parents. It was a free-for-all from there."
Fordson Athletic Director Mark Shooshanian confirmed that a student officer called Dearborn police during the incident, but that “it was all over” by the time police showed up.
“Basically it lasted 30 seconds,” he said.
Shooshanian, who also serves on Dearborn City Council, was not at the game due to a council meeting, but said he spoke with Assistant Athletic Director Jeff DelGuidice about the incident.
DelGuidice and Shooshanian—along with officials at Redford Thurston and district officials from both school systems—are in the process of reviewing video from the game and speaking with witnesses to get a clear account of what happened and what action needs to be taken.
Shooshanian said that it’s possible players could be suspended from a game, and also from school.
“It depends on the severity of it,” he said.
He added that one of the coaches did get hit by a student, but that both parties said the incident—which involved a student elbowing the coach in the face—was an accident.
Dearborn Public Schools spokesman David Mustonen said that Superintendent Brian Whiston had already spoken with the South Redford Schools superintendent, and that disciplinary action would be determined at the school level.
Fordson administrators, he added, will be required to “inform the district of procedures in place to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
Original reports from MLive indicated that there were “people with black eyes and bloody noses,” and that both parents and students in the stands became involved in the altercation.
Mustonen said that may not have been the case.
“Our initial reports are that parents came out of the stands to break things up,” he said.
“From players, from fans, from coaches on both sides, that what was reported on Mlive was greatly exaggerated,” he added. “Both sides are saying there were no punches thrown—that this turned into a shoving match.”
DelGuidice also told MLive Wednesday that he "did not see any punches thrown" when reviewing video from the game.
No one received medical attention at the scene.
Shooshanian added that in his experience with high school sporting events, fights often look different depending on a spectator’s point of view.
“Theses things happen so fast—there’s nothing you’re going to do,” he said. “When you see it happening, you think, ‘They’re all jumping in on it,’ but that’s not the case.”
Mustonen confirmed that School Resource Officers are often present at Dearborn sporting events, but that it’s usually for crowd control.
When altercations occur, he said, it’s usually not between players.
“Our rivalry games … those sometimes in the past have become heated,” he said. “Many times, it’s not the players—it’s the people in the crowd.”
Regardless, Mustonen stressed that fights are “very uncommon” at Dearborn Public Schools sporting events.