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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
March 24, 1989     The Message
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March 24, 1989

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10 Sports "The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana March 24, 1989 Rutter on Sports By DAVE RUTTER There are not many reasons for anyone to proud of this Let me see if I've got this straight. Sometimes it takes me a few seconds to unholster my mental shootin' irons. During halftime of last weekend's high school Semistate, a yelling, wild-eyed high school basket- ball coach takes a poke at an 18-year veteran of the Evansville Police Department who is charged with the protection of game officials. This same coach says he was going after the officials for a "discussion." The police officer doesn't arrest the coach for battery, or assault, or intimidation, or being obnox- ious, or double parking or having bad breath. He thinks about it for a few days before deciding that, yes, indeed, I was attacked. Or, maybe, no I wasn't attacked. All this in a game before 11,000 equally crazed fans at Roberts Stadium. There are television soap operas with lower angst levels. What we should do here is separate those events which are more likely true from those which are more likely self-indulgent mental meanderings. Under the category of unlikely: A: Floyd Central coach Joe Hinton is generally calm and has no history of confronting officials. Not exactly true. Hewas awarded five technical fouls in one game this year and has a clear history of emotional outbursts. He was approaching the bounds of mental imbalance during the Semistate's afternoon game which his team completely controlled. B: He just wanted to talk to the officials to ex- plain his point of view. Fairly self-serving descrip- tion of the event. Seems more likely he wanted to get in the officials' faces and intimidate them. That's less grievous than assault on a police of- ricer, but only by degrees. C: The confrontation with police happened on- ly because his troops were playing an Evansville team in Evansville. Wrong. Hinton has had previous episodes, and geography seldom played a role. Under the category of what is likely to be true: A: If the event occurred as witnesses described it, city police detective Steve Bagbey should have arrested Hinton on the spot, but didn't because he swallowed his whistle. Assault and battery is not a crime for which police need contemplation, especially a cop with 18 years on the force. It either happened, or it didn't. Bagbey was the vic- tim, wasn't he? B: The police, especially Bagbey, didn't arrest Hinton because they were fearful of Floyd Central's fans. This theory holds some weight becade Bagbey, also a game official, was involved in one of the state's ugliest episodes in 1978. During the Clarksville football game with Clarksville Pro- vidence that year, angry fans came out of the stands to attack Bagbey who was officiating. He was spirited away by other police before more serious harm could be done. (News reports from that game indicate that another official in the crew was a St. Benedict elementary school teacher named Rick Risemasl. C: No one in this event has a right to be proud. Even if the IHSAA commissioner and Floyd Central's principal invoke an "I didn't-see-it-so-it- didn't-happen" attitude, Hinton knows he was over the border without a visa and the school deserves a probation. Schools ant coaches have drawn reprimands for much less. Equally true,' Bagbey failed to do his job. He either provoked Hinton and failed to properly identify himself as an officer. Or he muddied the waters by threatening to file charges later when immediate action was appropriate. At any rate, the kids who played the game deserve credit for a mature performance under serious stress. We expect the same grace under pressure from the adults. That obviously didn't happen. Quilt fund-raiser Eighth graders at St. Bernard School, Rockport, gather around the sewing machine they are using to make a quilt. After the project is completed, the students will sell chances on it to raise funds for a class trip to Opryland, Tenn. Their teacher is Betty Thomas, at far Hght. -- Message Photo by Mary T. Ellert i FAMOUS BRANDS FOR LESS. FURNITURE - CARPET- APPLIANCES HOME OUTFITTERS .... -"-- JASPER - LOOGOOTEE - WASHINGTON NEW STORE OPENING IN VINCENNES I i PHARMACY SHOPPING CENTER I-IWY 50 EAST WASN.GTO., NmANA 254-4960 or 254-2274 This Glorious Easter... Reflect on the message of peace and love. A H FLECK INSURANCE THE HERALD OF DUBOIS CO. Easter Greetings KOBERSTEIN'S TRUCKING SERVICE, INC. Hwy. 64 West Princeton 385-2695 385-8971 Please patronize Message advertisers! i I-V COACH LINES CHARTE'R MOTOR COACH SERVICE 829 CANAL STREET EVANSVILLE, IND. 426-1423 Wishing you a HAPPY EASTER EASTER BLESSINGS FROM News Publishing Company TELL CITY, INDIANA PRINTERS FOR THE MESSAGE' WEB OFFSET PRINTING FOR SOUTHWESTERN INDIANA