CPS shuts out hoops fans to quell the violence

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Chicago Public Schools basketball contests will be strictly home games for at least the rest of the season, as district officials seek to curb some of the violence that has taken place over the past month.

Chicago Public Schools basketball contests will be strictly home games for at least the rest of the season, as district officials seek to curb some of the violence that has taken place over the past month.

CPS director of sports administration, Calvin Davis, told the Defender that three rule changes would be implemented throughout the season in hopes of reducing the violent incidents.

The rule changes started this week. That includes:

• All varsity boys basketball games will begin at 4 p.m.

• Fans from the visiting team will not be allowed to attend.

• In some cases in which there has been a history of trouble between schools, no fans will be allowed to attend the game.

There are more than 5,000 students on CPS basketball teams. Davis said student athletes have higher attendance and graduation rates and fewer disciplinary incidents than other students.

“I don’t think this is a sports problem. I think it’s a community problem,” he said. He later said he thinks the incidents this year stemmed from “preexisting conflicts in the community.”

Some parents and students say they understand why the new policies are being put in place.

Two incidents happened outside the schools after games. The other two were fights started by fans.

Davis not only wanted to send a message to those spectators who had no intentions of viewing a basketball game, but also to those who choose to disrupt and exhibit violent behavior before, during and after the games.

“If it means no fans will be allowed at some of these games, then that’s what will happen,” Davis said.

The first of a series of incidents occurred two weeks ago on a Friday night after a Dunbar-John Hope triple overtime game. A van rolled up and open fired on a crowd of people.

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