PITTSBURGH (AP) — A western Pennsylvania athletic league said it could not find after a three-hour hearing Wednesday that a high school boys basketball team used racist remarks at a February game, and the league decided against taking any disciplinary action.
Instead, the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League directed principals at Brentwood High School and Monessen High School to work together to come up with a plan that promotes sportsmanship. The league said in a statement that "negative incidents" threaten the educational mission of interscholastic athletics.
Tension between the two Pittsburgh-area high schools — the largely white Brentwood and the predominantly black Monessen — developed with accusations of racism after the Feb. 3 game between the two schools.
The Monessen team claimed that Brentwood supporters shouted "monkeys" and "cotton pickers" during the game. In addition, two Brentwood students ran past Monessen fans while wearing banana costumes.
After Wednesday's hearing, the league said it made "no specific findings" that any students, players or fans from Brentwood "used racial slurs or engaged in racially insensitive behavior."
The league also said that Brentwood Borough officials "took swift, decisive and appropriate action in addressing the limited disturbances that took place prior to, during or after the game" by ejecting and suspending the two students for violating school rules.
Brentwood administrators have said that the students wore the suits at previous games, and were merely "emulating" college students they have seen wearing costumes on television.
Monessen won the game, 59-45. The league oversees high school sports in the region.
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(Photo: Courtesy Monessen High School)
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