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Arlington girls’ basketball team out of TSSAA postseason, on probation after Dyer County coach ‘jumped’ after game

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File Basketball Photo(Josh Auzenne/WAFB-TV | WAFB)
Updated: Mar. 4, 2021 at 5:01 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Arlington High School girls’ basketball program is facing a fine and probation from TSSAA after an assault on a coach from another team following a game earlier this week.

According to a letter from Bernard Childress, executive director of TSSAA, the team is ineligible for the postseason as it is now on restrictive probation through the 2021-2022 school year. Arlington must also pay a $2,000 fine.

According to an incident report with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, Dyer County head girls’ basketball coach Derrick McCord was walking to his vehicle in the parking lot after the game Tuesday night when he said he was “jumped.” He and a witness told deputies someone pushed him to the ground and punched him multiple times before taking off in a vehicle driven by an Arlington player, according to the report.

TSSAA says the school later learned several Arlington players were in the vehicle with the suspect, later identified as Arlington head coach Ashley Shields’ juvenile son who attends another school.

The SCSO incident report says the teen claimed McCord was talking negatively about his mother.

TSSAA’s letter includes a narrative of the incident from the administration at Arlington High School.

A young man identified as an Arlington High School fan assaulted Derrick McCord, Dyer County Head Girls’ Coach, striking him from the side. Coach McCord was knocked down and punched several times while he was on the ground. It was reported that there were probably five other individuals with this young man. The individual who struck Coach McCord was identified at the scene as Ashley Shields’ son, Arlington’s Head Women’s Coach. The police were called and the assailant was arrested after they found him.

Coach Shields told police officers that she dropped her phone. When they found it, she gave it to one of her players and told her to make sure that her son got it. She then told her players to leave campus. It was reported that some of her players were in the vehicle the young man left in. An Arlington girls’ basketball player was driving the car he left in.

As far as Coach McCord, he was taken to the hospital after the game. He pressed charges against the assailant and the young man was taken into custody.

TSSAA includes punitive action proposed by Arlington administrators, including a two-game suspension for Coach Shields, banning her son from campus for the rest of the year, prohibiting individual and team camps during summer 2021, a self-imposed two-year probation with fines for violations, a review of security procedures and sportsmanship expectations and no longer scheduling games between Arlington and Dyer County.

A spokesperson for Arlington Community Schools released this statement Thursday after TSSAA’s decision:

Upon further investigation into Tuesday night’s incident involving a minor and the Dyer County High School basketball coach, ACS has since learned additional details that has led the TSSAA to rule the AHS girls team is ineligible to continue the season. In addition to the already reported detail that the minor, who is not an ACS student, involved is the son of the AHS girls basketball coach, we’ve also learned that a player on the AHS girls basketball team drove the minor away from the scene before police arrived.

With these factors in mind, TSSAA has prohibited the team from continuing this season, including the playoffs, and we have subsequently self-imposed sanctions that the TSSAA has approved.

We’re disheartened the actions of a few have led to such great consequences for the entire team, but as a team sport, you rise and you fall together. It’s a lesson that actions have consequences, and sometimes that can also impact the innocent. The decisions made after Tuesday’s game do not represent the values AHS motivates its players to live by, and AHS administrators will work even harder in the future to make sure our coaches and athletes understand the importance of personal and team responsibility and leadership.

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