Just prior to the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) state basketball playoffs, Benedictine Military School (BC) announced Monday
the removal of a senior guard from the team after video evidence of the player committing unsportsmanlike acts was first made public by Connect Savannah
through a post on X (Twitter) on Saturday evening, Feb. 10.
Two video clips of incidents from a recent BC basketball road game were sent through text message by Connect Savannah
to the school
prior to the clips being posted. The Benedictine athletics administrator said it was the first time he or the school had been made aware of any incident during a Feb. 7 varsity game
played at New Hampstead High School (NHHS).
The first clip shows a BC player in a dark jersey pushing his heel down onto the head of a New Hampstead freshman still lying flat on the hardwood. The second clip shows the same two players crossing paths around midcourt before the BC senior uses his hand to jab at the NHHS freshman's groin area.
Both clips can be viewed at bottom of this story.
By Monday, Feb. 12 the post had been viewed more than 124,000 times.
It includes two video clips from the game between the Savannah private school, BC, and the public school, New Hampstead. Each clip is less than four seconds in duration. The public's reaction
to the post got the attention of the GHSA
by Monday morning. The post prompted an investigation by the GHSA, which was first reported by WSAV
"We are aware of that incident and are currently investigating,” the GHSA told Joey Lamar
of WSAV. "We do not comment on ongoing investigations.”
Prompted by the launch of GHSA's investigation, Benedictine announced the player's dismissal later on Monday morning. The school's acknowledgement and decision in response to the videos came through a statement
relayed to media outlets by Benedictine Athletics Director, Jack Holland.
“Benedictine Military School is aware of the actions taken by a member of the basketball team during a game last week. Because this behavior is unacceptable and counter to the principles of the school, the student is no longer a member of the basketball program. School officials will continue to handle the situation in a way that is consistent with Benedictine’s mission.”
Neither play was whistled for a foul by the three-man officiating crew, but one of those officials was shown one of the clips before he was asked for reaction on Sunday, Feb. 11.
"It's a dirty play, and we missed it," he said after seeing the video for the first time four days after the game was played.
"I hate that, but we missed it. That's one you don't forget as an official because it's hard to watch."
Also on Monday, the Savannah Chatham County Public School System (SCCPSS) put out its own statement, which suggests that the school system was also made aware of the incidents through the Saturday post on X.
“We appreciate the Georgia High School Association has decided to investigate several incidents of apparent unsportsmanlike conduct by a Benedictine basketball player during the New Hampstead High School game with Benedictine on February 7, 2024. We will have no further comment pending the outcome of that investigation.”
A Final Four team last year, Benedictine (13-6 overall record) lost both regular season matchups to its region 3-4A rival NHHS, and both were by a one-point margin. The Phoenix (19-5)
enter this week's region tournament as the top seed, the host school, the No. 6 ranked team in Class 4A, and riding a 17-game winning streak.
Region 3-4A basketball tourney schedule for this week at NHHS
are ranked No. 10 in Class 4A and have been a fringe top-10 team all season long. They are aiming for three straight region 3-4A titles this week in the region tournament.
As the region's two-seed, BC will need to win its first-round game against Burke County on Thursday (5:30pm) if it wants a third meeting with the Phoenix, one that would come in a region championship game Friday night.
NHHS can advance to the championship game with a win on Thursday (8:30pm) versus whichever team advances from the Wayne County, Islands, Southeast Bulloch trio. Tip time for Friday's region 3-4A title tilt is scheduled for 8:30pm at New Hampstead.
Benedictine's statement did not include any further discipline for the player beyond removal from the team, and it did not include punishments for any other coach or player involved in the Cadet basketball program.