CPS Suspends Hoops Coaches Following Brawl

Simeon's Robert Smith, Morgan Park's Nick Irvin to sit out four games

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    NEWSLETTERS

    CPS orders Simeon's Robert Smith and Morgan Park's Nick Irvin to sit out four games for Code of Conduct violations. Christian Farr reports. (Published Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013)

    Chicago Public Schools officials have suspended two high school basketball coaches following a post-game fight last week.

    Simeon's Robert Smith and Morgan Park's Nick Irvin will each miss four games, but must attend the games in a non-coaching capacity.

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    A brawl broke out while basketball players from Simeon and Morgan Park high schools were going through the handshake line after a game at Chicago State University. Video courtesy CSN. (Published Thursday, Jan 17, 2013)

    The punishment comes after players from both teams left the handshake line following the game at Chicago State University to join a brawl that broke out in another area of the court.

    Security eventually broke up the fight and directed the players to their respective locker rooms, but a short time later guns shots were fired outside the gym, killing Tyrone Lawson.

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    The suspended coaches are two of the most high-profile in the league. Smith is going for a third straight state title, Simeon is ranked No. 10 in the nation and he coached Derrick Rose during his prep years. Smith had no comment Wednesday when reached by NBC 5.

    Irvin is also well-respected in basketball circles. He leads one of the top AAU programs in the state, and his brother, Byron, played in the NBA.

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    Jabari Parker said it was a tough to choose from among all of the schools, describing it as a "better, best and best kind of a situation." (Published Thursday, Dec 20, 2012)

    Morgan Park Athletic Director Wesley Yates referred NBC Chicago to CPS officials, and CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett released the following statement: 

    "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. 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."

    Two men were charged in connection with Lawson's death.