CPS coaches suspended after teams’ fight turns violent

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Suspensions have been handed down to the boys, basketball coaches at Simeon Career Academy and Morgan Park High School for their conduct during and after a fight between the two teams last week.

The fight broke out after their game January 16 at Chicago State and ended with a shooting in the parking lot that killed a student.

Simeon coach Robert Smith and Morgan Park coach Nick Irvin continued to yell at each other after the teams were ordered back to their locker rooms.

CPS chief executive officer Barbara Byrd-Bennett said in a statement that the coaches violated the CPS code of conduct with their words and actions at the game.

“Coaches in Chicago Public Schools must serve as mentors, instructors and role models for our students both on and off the court or field of competition,” Byrd-Bennett said in the statement. “The children under their charge take their cues from them on what is acceptable behavior and what is not. Knowing this, coaches must at all times conduct themselves in a professional and sportsmanlike manner.

“Through both words and actions, the boys basketball coaches of Morgan Park and Simeon high schools on Jan. 16 violated the code of conduct to which they all must subscribe as a basic responsibility of their positions. We have taken the proper disciplinary steps to address their actions.”

A meeting will be held by the CPS on February 2 to go over new guidelines for all coaches.

Michael McNabb and Stephen Gilbert have been charged in the shooting death of 17-year-old Tyrone Lawson, who was shot in the Chicago State parking lot after the game on January 16.

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