A Hammond (Ind.) freshman basketball coach has been charged with disorderly conduct in connection with his involvement in a fight that migrated from the stands to the court following a recent game.
As reported by the Northwest Indiana Times, the charges, which are classified as a Class B misdemeanor, follow 29-year-old Robert Pogue’s swing at 25-year-old spectator Jamar Freeman, who was part of a group of fans who threatened to slap a Hammond player. Freeman also allegedly chest-bumped Pogue, which inspired the coach to attempt to punch the irate fan.
According to the NWI Times, it was a Hammond player who initially sparked the confrontation by calling a player Freeman knows, “trash.” When Pogue defended his own player, Freeman struck.
While no final decisions have been made about Pogue’s status, Hammond schools Superintendent Walter Watkins told the newspaper that the coach — who is not a school employee — has been suspended with pay during the district’s investigation into the incident.
“The coach went to address the parent face-to-face and more words were exchanged and it became physical. I have been told the students displayed themselves like gentlemen and displayed great sportsmanship, and did not leave the bench,” Watkins told the NWI Times.
There has been no timetable for the district’s investigation to be completed.