Viral video of Connell basketball game creates controversy
A Yakima man starts a social media storm with a viral video of a high school basketball game in Connell.
Michael Christenson says several players on Connell's team committed multiple blatant, flagrant fouls - and the refs didn't hold them accountable.
School district administrators in Connell say what happened isn't out of the ordinary.
They say the only reason this is getting so much attention is because those plays were recorded and put on YouTube.
The basketball game took place on December 22nd, when Highland High School's team visited Connell.
Christenson is an uncle of one of the players from Highland, and he recorded the game with a video camera.
He says throughout the game, several players from Connell committed what he describes as several intentional, flagrant fouls that were not properly called by refs.
Christenson posted the video on YouTube so people could be are aware of the game, with hopes that this type of behavior could stop before somebody gets hurt.
In an email sent to us today, Christenson wrote: "I am happy that this video is getting a lot of attention, because I think the officiating in some of these high school games is appalling, and this video is getting people to talk about it. I also believe that if the video didn't contain any flagrant/controversial fouls--it never would have become popular, so that gives the video some credibility. I hope the WIAA will make some changes after seeing my video. The type of fouls that occurred in the Highland / Connell game cannot be allowed to continue, because someone will suffer a serious injury."
But school administrators say this video isn't a fair representation of the game, the players or the team.
"My feeling is I bet you could go to 90% of any sporting event that has contact like basketball, football, whatever. You could probably go through any person's game film and pull these same or similar incidents out. This just happened to be a person did that and posted it online" said Steve Frucci, athletic director of the North Franklin School District.
So far, the YouTube video has more than 28,000 views, with nearly 100 comments.
The commissioner of the Washington Officials Association, Todd Stordahl, says he is aware of the video and it is being reviewed, along with the rest of the game not shown on the YouTube video.
Stordahl says these types of reports and videos are not out of the ordinary.
He says the association is treating this report just like any other.
You can see Christenson's video here.