A criminal investigation is ongoing by law enforcement officials concerning a brawl that occurred after the boys basketball game between Guy-Perkins and South Side Bee Branch.
Superintendents of both school districts have been advised by legal counsel to not comment on the specifics of the incident until after the investigation is complete. Both schools have provided videos to authorities.
"I can say that no employees of the Guy-Perkins School District were involved in a negative way, and I know that because I was right in the middle of it (trying to settle things down)," said Brian Cossey, interim superintendent at Guy-Perkins. "I've looked at the video a number of times and I know what our people did."
Billy Jackson, superintendent of South Side, released this statement Tuesday, "I had resolved to remain silent until the investigation was completed, but with the credibility and integrity of the South Side Bee Branch School District coming into question, I can no longer stay silent. We have video which reveals that what occurred was not initiated by South Side individuals. The video will also show that our coaches acted appropriately. Our district is still reviewing the video to see what action, if any, should be taken. The video will not be released until the investigation is completed."
The two district border each other with the boundaries sometimes less than a mile apart. They've had a heated natural rivalry for years.
Since the incident occurred at a public event, videos should be available after law enforcement officials have reviewed them.
As a result of the incident at Thunderbird Gymnasium, Cossey said spectators and anyone other than cheerleaders, enforcement officials or photographers will no longer be allowed to congregate on the baselines underneath each basket. He also said he is working with the Guy-Perkins Police Department and the Faulkner County Sheriff's Office to increase security for home games.
"I know folks have their routine of where they like to watch games and some like to do it along the baseline, but they are no longer going to do it at Guy-Perkins," Cossey said. "It was a very close, heated ballgame in which we hit a 3-pointer with four seconds left and they missed a halfcourt shot at the buzzer. It was a great game. It's unfortunate that no one remembers that part of it."