The Ottumwa Courier

February 19, 2013

Brawl fallout: Nine total players suspended from both teams, three fans banned; IHCC’s Ross charged with assault

Peery: ‘Take our punishment and move on’

SCOTT JACKSON
Courier sports writer

OTTUMWA — The fallout of the postgame brawl between Indian Hills and Southeastern has resulted in several players being suspended for their roles in the ugly incident. The brawl also resulted in IHCC sophomore Ronald Ross being arrested following Saturday’s contest.

Besides the players, the ICCAC announced a one-game suspension for Warriors’ head coach Barret Peery. Peery sat out his first game of his head coaching career Tuesday during third-ranked Indian Hills road contest at Moberly Area, with assistant coach John Wardenburg serving as acting head coach.

“My suspension is for being the head coach and our team was involved in this,” said Peery, who was injured in the melee and had to receive four stitches above his right eye. “It’s justified for the conduct of our team at the end of the game.”

The ICCAC, however, did not suspend Southeastern head coach Terry Carroll. Commissioner Thom McDonald would not elaborate on the decisions behind each suspension, but did reference the code of conduct and sportsmanship in determining the penalties.

“The suspensions are in accordance with conference rules,” McDonald said.

The suspensions stem from the basketball game Saturday at Loren Walker Arena in West Burlington. Seconds after the two-overtime battle finally ended with third-ranked IHCC pulling out a 104-99 come-from-behind win over SCC, a scuffle broke out between the two teams in front of the SCC bench. The brawl sent three people to the hospital — Peery, Carroll’s son Billy and an unidentified woman, who was reportedly knocked down when the melee spread into the main hallway outside of the arena.

Ross was arrested following the incident and charged with serious assault for a punch that left Billy Carroll with a laceration to his upper lip.

“The punishment handed out by the league is appropriate. I don’t completely agree with the ruling, but I accept it,” Indian Hills president Jim Lindenmeyer said. “I don’t think anyone’s going to completely agree with it. You can watch the video 100 times and you can’t put yourself in the place of the players and what they’re going through emotionally as that situation is going on.”

Ross was hit with the longest suspension of the five Warrior players. While Richard Amardi, Dustin Hogue, Ronnie Stevens and Rawane Ndiaye will miss only the remaining two regular season games for IHCC, Ross will be out for the next three games — including the Warriors’ postseason opener next week in the Region XI semifinals.

Amardi and Hogue signed national letters of intent with Iowa State last November. The Iowa State athletic department reportedly announced Tuesday that the suspensions will not affect their scholarships.

In addition to the player suspensions, three fans have also been banned from attending games for the remainder of the season.

“You don’t see many things like this happen,” Peery said. “It takes two to tango. We were 50 percent of the transaction, so we need to take our punishment and move on.”

Four Southeastern players were hit with two-game suspensions. Freshmen Dontay Jackson, Marlon Cort and Debonair Edwards join sophomore Tyrie Orosco as players who will miss Southeastern’s regular-season finale on Wednesday at Mineral Area and the Blackhawks’ postseason opener next week.

The teams could possibly play again in the postseason, depending on how the region pairings work out. The region playoffs begin Feb. 25. Indian Hills was locked up the Region XI season title with a 7-0 record. SCC is third at 3-5.

“It’s an unfortunate situation for both institutions. It’s one of those things that can occasionally happen in an emotionally-charged game,” Lindenmyer said. “Both coaches did what they could. It was a serious event, but it could have been worse. I’m sure all the players are very regretful of the situation.”

Lindenmeyer, like both school and conference officials, has reviewed video of the incident and how it started.

“It really started with a confrontation between two players. A referee was right there. It seemed like it was just about over and then it started to spread,” Lindenmeyer said. “The whole thing took about 38 seconds, but it seems like it took forever.

“The initial incident happened right at the end of the game and our players couldn’t get to the locker room. I don’t know if it’s fair to characterize the actions of any one player. It’s just sad that people got hurt.”

Lindenmeyer is hopeful there is something positive that can come out of Saturday’s incident.

“I feel pretty strongly that as presidents, athletic directors and coaches we control the environment that these kids compete in and the fans attend,” Lindenmeyer said. “I think we can do a better job controlling that environment.

“I didn’t anticipate something like that, and our coaches haven’t coached at Southeastern before. There’s no way they could have anticipated it. I wish I had. I’m sure Southeastern feels the same way.”