South Central and Washington Township administrations are refuting claims made in an article in an area newspaper of racist remarks by S.C. fans to Boone Grove's first base coach during Friday's Porter County Conference tournament championship game at Washington Township.
"Unfortunately, the Wolves' championship was overshadowed by a news story... (written) without taking the necessary steps to determine validity and what actually transpired," a statement from South Central Principal Ben Anderson said. "Not only (did it) have incorrect details and information..., (it) also inaccurately paraphrased what Anderson said in his statement after the game."
Anderson went on to say there had not been any substantiation to the claims that the Boone Grove first base coach Diante Kincaid (who is African-American) made, and Anderson addressed Kincaid's reported inappropriate actions toward the fans on the first base line. Anderson said Boone Grove athletic director Marcus Banning, South Central athletic director Jarad Miller, and South Central High School assistant principal Ryan Kruszka were all present when his statement was given and have affirmed that what was printed in the article is erroneous.
An hour or so after the game's completion, Anderson said the newspaper published a "breaking news" article with all of the inaccuracies. Additionally, the paper was deleting comments on its Facebook post written by fans disputing the article.
"South Central school administrators have spoken to Boone Grove administrators in effort to rectify and clear up this situation," Anderson said in the statement. "South Central admin has spoken to and will be receiving written statements from Washington Twp. athletic director Tim Brunton and home plate umpire Larry Babcock describing their perspective of what happened... The schools have been communicating appropriately and are working together to gather the facts surrounding these events."
Saturday afternoon, Brunton issued a statement saying he recalled Kincaid approaching from S.C. fans during a pause after a play, at which Babcock walked to the area along the first base line and said, 'that's enough.' After that was said, Brunton said he heard a female South Central fan say, "you shouldn't say something like that in front of a woman," then Babcock again told Kincaid to stop.
"I think (Babcock) handled the situation well...," Brunton said. "During this time, I never heard any racist remarks being made. At no time during the game from my area in the press box did I hear with my own ears a racial comment made by anyone. When I read the article, I was in shock. I felt there were a lot of details left out..."
After receiving South Central's statement Saturday, Boone Grove Athletics Director Marcus Banning told the News-Dispatch that his school did not have anything to add at that time.