A football game fight between TSST and Claremore players still under investigation
Monday, November 8th 2004, 9:03 am
By: News On 6
Some Claremore High School football players will be suspended for part of the playoffs after a fight on the field halted Friday's night's game against TSST.
The game was called in the 3rd quarter after a play ended in violence that had coaches and players rushing onto the field from the sidelines.
The News on 6 obtained exclusive video of the incident. News on 6 reporter Heather Lewin has more.
Fans on both sides say it was a good game, which is up until the third quarter when it all broke loose near the end zone. Amateur video shows a Claremore player punching, then stomping a Titan, followed by a mad rush onto the field. What the tape doesn't show according to Claremore officials, is an incident just before the fight, in which a TSST player was choking a Claremore player on the Claremore side.
Allegations are also being made that TSST coaches went out not to stop the fight, but to join in. TSST head coach Danny Daniels says that is simply untrue. "We're always portrayed as the villain; over here at TSST we're guilty until proven innocent." He says at the time he wasn't clear who started the fight, just that it was his job to stop it. "If their film shows our kid started it then he needs to be punished, but if our film is the most conclusive as to who started then that kid needs to be punished, not the whole team."
The Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association is conducting an investigation along with both schools. The tape most have seen was shot from the TSST side of the field, another angle, from Claremore is being reviewed as well.
Investigators say officials made the right call ending the game and that the incident is unfortunate for both teams. Tulsa Public Schools athletics director Stephanie Spring: "This isn't about blame, this is about right and wrong, there were Claremore players involved, there were TSST players involved, Claremore has dealt with their players, we'll deal with ours."
Claremore's principal told the News on 6 the investigation is continuing and he did not want to speak on camera. Officials say the reason at least three Claremore players have been suspended, yet there's no news of suspensions at TSST is simply because Claremore is in the playoffs, so a decision there had to be made more quickly.
TSST's season is over, but officials there say they too will hand down punishment according to OSSAA rules.