Hazel Park High School announcer replaced after basketball brawl

Hazel Park High School announcer replaced after basketball brawl

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Hazel Park High School announcer replaced after basketball brawl

The announcer for Hazel Park High School is out of a job after an investigation into fights that broke out during a boys basketball game last week against North Farmington.

A basketball on a court floor.

A basketball on a court floor.

Superintendent Dr. Amy Kruppe confirmed Wednesday that the announcer has been replaced because of inappropriate comments made during the game. The school’s athletic director, David Muylaert, was kicked out in the third quarter, a fan threw a bottle onto the court and an official was accosted by the announcer.

“The announcer’s comments were towards Hazel Park and not sportsmanlike,’’ said Kruppe. “The announcer should be neutral, and our announcer won’t be announcing for us.’’

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Kruppe said a video of the game was shown at Monday’s school board meeting.

A student spotted throwing a bottle onto the floor turned herself in the next day and was disciplined, Kruppe said. The bottle-throwing incident resulted in the game being halted with 1:15 left to play. The incident was reported to the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA).

Kruppe called the bottle-throwing inappropriate, adding:  “Our AD made a comment to the referee, which was inappropriate. There were three adults that made some decisions that they all, in retrospect, wish they did not. The MHSAA has to make a decision what to do with the official.’’

An MHSAA report by the referees who worked the game was obtained by the Free Press. North Farmington Coach Todd Negoshian and Orchard Lake St. Mary’s Coach Todd Covert, who was in attendance scouting, also confirmed that multiple inflammatory remarks were made by the announcer towards the referees.

The MHSAA said it was still reviewing the information and no decision had been made about possible disciplinary action.

According to the report:

  • The announcer told fans: “We need help to control this situation. We need help from the fans. It’s 8 on 5.” Eight on five suggests Hazel Park was not just playing against the North Farmington players, but playing against the referees as well.
  • One official said he had to go over to the announcer and tell him to not talk on the microphone when North Farmington players had the ball ready to shoot free throws.
  • When a recent transfer player checked into the game for North Farmington, the announcer said, “Straight from Atlanta, Georgia, checking in.”
  • Negoshian also heard him say “Welcome to North Farmington refereeing.’’

After a Hazel Park assistant coach was assessed a technical foul, the report said the Hazel Park announcer made comments to incite a hostile environment for the officials and the North Farmington players and coaches.

The referee stopped the game and asked Muylaert to tell the announcer that he could no longer call the game.

Muylaert walked onto the floor and berated the referee — and was ejected.

Contact Perry A. Farrell: pafarrell@freepress.com 

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