Refs hurt during BA ball game
Violence at high school sporting events sent shock waves throughtwo small town communities Friday night.
A basketball game, played at Bowling Green Academy inFranklinton, La., was halted in the second quarter when hometownfans attacked and injured the two officials calling the varsityboys game between Bowling Green and Brookhaven Academy.
Bill Brantley of Monticello and Charlie Ackerman of Franklintonwere officiating Friday night’s game. Clarifying a previous storyreporting the incident, Brantley said, “I got six staples not sixstitches. I did suffer a concussion.”
Contrary to the report appearing in Sunday’s edition of TheDaily Leader, Brantley did not spend the night in the hospital. “Iwas kept a couple of hours for observation.”
Brantley said there were two minutes and 30 seconds remaining inthe second quarter when the incident began.
Brantley said a couple of Brookhaven Academy players “came to meand said that No. 15 (Cody Glenn) was cussing some of them. Theplay was physical. They were getting after it.”
The game was for first place in the District 4-AA race.
Referee Charlie Ackerman called a personal foul on Cody Glenn.He was a transfer from Bogalusa (La.) High School where Ackermanteaches.
“It was a hard foul,” said Brantley. “It looked like (Glenn)tried to throw a punch at the Brookhaven player. When (Ackerman)saw (Glenn) tried to throw a punch, that’s when he charged him witha flagrant technical.”
In the meantime, the clock had continued to run and the crowdwas clamoring to stop it. “I went to the clock operator andinstructed him to reset the clock at two minutes and 30seconds.”
Brantley was telling Coach Dale Watts of Brookhaven Academyabout the adjustment in the clock. “As I turned around, Idiscovered that Ackerman had kicked the player out of the game.Charlie was explaining the circumstances of the foul to thescorekeeper. It would be a personal foul and a technical foul.Brookhaven would shoot the free throws and be awardedpossession.”
While the officials explained the situation to the scorekeeper,Brantley said, “A big man in a green shirt walks up and sayssomething to Charlie and pushes him. When Charlie turned to hisleft, the guy reaches back to hit him.
“Charlie immediately reaches up and grabs him in a headlock. Hehad to reach up and grab this guy with a headlock. He was big. Theygo to the floor hard.
“I was reaching down and trying to break them up. Some other guycomes up and jumps on Charlie. I grabbed this guy by the head.
“The next thing I knew I got hit on the left side of my face. Ikept trying to pull the guy off Charlie and I went to the ground.All of a sudden I started getting pounded in the head with feet orfists.
“I covered my face. Somebody was on top of me. It knocked me outand I was on the floor bleeding.
“The first thing I could comprehend was somebody saying, ‘He’sbleeding.’ Then I saw blood on the floor.”
Brantley said when they looked at the video tape “(Ackerman) wasup and I was still on the floor. They rolled me over first. By thenthere were over 40 people on the floor.
“They brought me over to the bench and put an ice pack on myhead. While I’m sitting there, I passed out again.”
Brantley said he called the ballgame. Brookhaven was ahead onthe scoreboard at the time.
The ambulance came and attendants checked Brantley. “I was kindof wobbly. So I had a friend from Packard carry me in my vehicle tothe hospital.” He was admitted to the Franklinton Hospital.
While Brantley was at the hospital, he passed out two moretimes. Brantley had been approached by a police officer while hewas sitting on the bench in an effort to rehash the incident.
Brantley said there was no uniformed law enforcement officer atthe game for security purposes.
Hospital personnel performed a catscan on Brantley’s head.According to a physician, the results were negative but Brantleydid have a concussion.
When Brantley was released, he was asked by the Franklintonpolice to come by headquarters and provide them with a statement.He gave a written statement.
Two video tapes were confiscated from the gymnasium. One tapewas from Franklinton and the other from the Brookhaven side of thegym.
The tapes were used to determine who should be arrested. Thetapes will be used as evidence.
Brantley said he was informed by the Franklinton police thatthree people would be charged with second degree felonyassault.
“They let me view both video tapes,” said Brantley. “I couldn’tstand to watch it but one time. My wife cried and my daughtercried. It made me sick. They said I took 10 blows to the head.”
Witnesses said two brothers were assaulting Brantley on thetape. “One was punching me and the other was kicking me.”
Ackerman also was admitted to the emergency room. Both officialsreceived tetanus shots. Ackerman had cuts and scratches to his eyesand face.
“They were gouging Charlie in the eyes and mouth with theirfingers,” said Brantley. “They were trying to tear his head off. Helooked a lot worse for wear than I did.”
Despite the bumps and bruises, Brantley officiated thebasketball games Saturday night at Brookhaven Academy when theCougars hosted Prentiss Christian School.
“The reason I called the game Saturday night was for all theother guys (officials) who are running up and down the floor. Wehave a job to do. We do it because we love basketball and we lovethe kids. We sure don’t do it for the money.”
Brantley said the incident at Franklinton was unfortunate forthe fans and players who love basketball. “It’s a shame thatparents can ruin things for the kids.”
On two previous and separate occasions, there have beencomplaints filed against Bowling Green by other schools.