Racism, death threats and coaches behaving badly in a Utah high school basketball rivalry

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Racism, death threats and coaches behaving badly in a Utah high school basketball rivalry

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Racism, death threats and coaches behaving badly in a Utah high school basketball rivalry

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Of all the states where one might find disturbing allegations of racism and death threats in scholastic sports, Utah likely isn’t at the top of the list. Apparently that overlooks the budding animosity between Intermountain Christian School (ICS) and Tabiona High School.

As reported by the Salt Lake Tribune, a basketball game between the two schools led to allegations of racism by Tabiona fans and claims of death threats and violence by ICS coaches.

The incident that sparked countering claims that have now been heard by the Utah High School Activities Association (UHSAA) date back to a basketball game that took place in January. During the contest, which was played at Tabiona, the home crowd allegedly used a series of racial slurs and taunts against ICS’s coaches and players. ICS has called for Tabiona’s basketball coach, Lee Gines, to be suspended for as many as five years. Concurrently, Tabiona has filed for ICS coach Tim Drisdom to be sanctioned for an alleged threat on a Tabiona player’s life.

Here’s more on the claim against Drisdom, per the Tribune:

(Duchesne School District attorney Blake) Ostler alleged that Drisdom, after the game between ICS and Tabiona in mid-January, pulled a Tabiona player close to him while players and coaches from both teams congratulated each other and shook hands. Drisdom, Ostler said, told the player, “Son if you ever look at me like that again, you will lose your life.”

The upshot of the claims against the teams is that one or both could be suspended from all competition in the state for a year. There are credibility issues on both sides of this case, along with soundless surveillance video that serves as a virtual Rorschach test for both sides.
All of that makes for even higher stakes for the UHSAA, which could make a statement about racist fan behavior and inappropriate coach interactions in one fell swoop, depending on their own interpretation of what unfolded on a long, disputed night.

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Racism, death threats and coaches behaving badly in a Utah high school basketball rivalry
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