Idaho coach: players suffer 'character assassination' from tribal council claim

Salmon River High School in Idaho (Photo: Google Earth) Photo: Google Earth

Idaho coach: players suffer 'character assassination' from tribal council claim

Girls Basketball

Idaho coach: players suffer 'character assassination' from tribal council claim

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An Idaho girls basketball coach has accused a local tribal council leader of falsely accusing her players of using racial taunts, all while claiming that her own players were subjected to similar treatment.

As reported by the Idaho State Journal, the Salmon River High School  (Riggins, Ida.) girls basketball team was accused of racially taunting Shoshone-Bannock (Ida.) High School players during the teams’ Class 1A Division II state semifinal. Yet rather than apologize for the alleged mistake, Salmon River girls basketball coach Paula Tucker insists that it was her team that was subjected to racial taunts during the game played in Nampa.

“So far, absolutely nothing (in terms of proof) has been presented,” Tucker told the Journal. “Until someone offers up documentation, rather than hearsay, that the Salmon River girls’ basketball players taunted anyone, racially or otherwise, I will err on the side of innocent until proven guilty.”

As to what her players stand accused of, the Journal provided details from a letter written by Shoshone-Bannock Tribal Council Secretary Donna Thompson:

Thompson claims that two players from the Salmon River High School Savages told Shoshone-Bannock Lady Chiefs players to “go back to the reservation where they belong” and that several Lady Chiefs fans were also the victims of racial taunts by Salmon River fans and parents as well as the referees.

While Thompson brought the allegations public, it still hasn’t registered as an official complaint because someone with an official school capacity must register it with the state association to start an investigation.

Meanwhile, Tucker has contacted the Idaho High School Activities Association, as well as any other parties who might have seen or heard the allegations unfold, in an attempt to clear her athletes’ name.

“So far, absolutely nothing (in terms of proof) has been presented,” Tucker told the Journal. “Until someone offers up documentation, rather than hearsay, that the Salmon River girls’ basketball players taunted anyone, racially or otherwise, I will err on the side of innocent until proven guilty.”

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Idaho coach: players suffer 'character assassination' from tribal council claim
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