At least some of the football players involved in the Michigan City-South Bend Washington brawl that ended the teams’ season opener prematurely will be allowed to continue practicing while the Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) deliberates over their discipline, according to a news report from South Bend.
As reported by Indiana CBS affiliate WSBT, all South Bend Washington players involved in the benches clearing brawl during the team’s season opener against Michigan City will be allowed to continue practicing with their teammates until some official form of punishment is handed down. The temporary practice status for Michigan City players was not made public Sunday as both schools reportedly investigated whether they could cooperatively self-sanction players or whether the IHSAA would step in to deliver definitive punishment.
Both schools are expected to submit a report to IHSAA officials Monday. A meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday and the IHSAA is not expected to announce a decision until at least Wednesday, according to the South Bend Tribune.
In the meantime, South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg weighed in on the fracas, expressing his disappointment with Washington’s student athletes, who sparked the brawl when they pushed a Michigan City player out of bounds near the end of the game’s first half.
“We expect our student athletes to rise to the highest level of character,” Buttigieg told WSBT. “My hope is that this will be a teaching moment, and the students will learn from this experience and come back prepared to make South Bend proud.”
Before they can return to the field in pursuit of town pride, it’s almost certain that a number of Washington players will spend a prolonged period on the sidelines or in the stands.