Boys basketball: Fairfield, City High game has chaotic end

Jan. 24—FAIRFIELD — Officials with the Fairfield Community School District and Iowa High School Athletic Association are looking into allegations of a racially-charged comment made by an official towards an Iowa City High coach in a varsity boys basketball game that ended with an altercation between players Monday.

With just over two minutes left in the contest and Fairfield leading 77-63, players were involved in a scuffle where a punch was thrown after a foul call, according to an account from the Southeast Iowa Union. Coaches from both teams rushed onto the court to break up the scuffle, the newspaper reported.

In a statement posted by the Fairfield Community School District, coaches, officials and administrators were required to safely intervene in the altercation. Both teams were escorted to their locker rooms for five-minute intermission, during which time Iowa City High coaches determined it was best to forfeit the game.

According to the Southeast Iowa Union, tensions during the game began to rise during contest. Iowa City High's head coach was ejected early in the fourth quarter, leading to City Hawk fans berating the referees.

A statement from the Iowa City High School District alleged one of the game officials had made a racially-charged comment toward the City High Boys Basketball head coach Brennan Swayzer, who is Black.

"The Iowa City Community School District never condones racism. We stand by our students and staff of color," the district's statement said. "We are also addressing an incident of physical aggression and helping our students learn better ways to handle a volatile situation."

The district said in the statement it opted to end the game out of safety concerns, and that the team received a police escort from the gymnasium and out of town.

Chris Cuellar, a spokesperson for the Iowa High School Athletic Association, said information about the incident is still being gathered.

"We are still gathering information on the game from both Fairfield and Iowa City High and the game officials," he said. "As always, we will continue communicating with those involved to learn more about the situation and will work with our member schools to facilitate resolutions."