Mt. Vernon Register-News

Sports

April 12, 2013

Sports briefs

(Continued)

"When (Thomas) eventually appeared, his demeanor made it clear that he would not be a conduit for positive change," Hickman said. "There is no place for that type of behavior in high school athletics, and no outcome of a high school sporting event warrants it."

After the game, Hickman said, Thomas snubbed offers of congratulations from the IHSA's directors and Gov. Pat Quinn, threw the runner-up medal to an assistant, exited the court and had a verbal confrontation with a fan before being restrained by security and police from entering the stands.

Hickman said Smithpeters "crossed the line early in the game with his actions toward the game officials" and should have been issued a first-half technical foul for blatantly stepping out of his coach's box.

"His behavior set a negative tone for the players and fans and contributed to a hostile environment that only grew worse during the first half," Hickman said.

The association banned Smithpeters, the school's assistant principal, from postseason coaching next season, unless he completes a behavioral-training program. Thomas received a two-year postseason ban. Both coaches are on probation for next school year.

"This was an ugly and embarrassing incident," Hickman said in a statement, insisting that both schools and the officials "all share in the blame for the outcome."

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