Video of controversial Connell basketball game gets national attention
The viral video of a boys basketball game at Connell High School we showed you yesterday has now made national news.
And today, the school district's superintendent appears on camera for the first time to discuss the controversy.
Gregg Taylor, the superintendent of the North Franklin School District says he had no idea the video would get so much attention.
He says right after he saw the video last week, district officials met to take care of the issue.
He says they also met with the opposing team to make things right.
But the video is still going viral.
Antonio Anzures, who grew up in Connell, says the YouTube video of Connell's December 22nd basketball game against Highland High School is shocking.
"I was in high school here, and I never once really saw any one of our teams do that" said Anzures.
The five minute video shows several Connell players, specifically #34 - Cole Vanderbilt, committing what some are calling excessive fouls.
The clip is getting national attention.
The video appeared as a top story on Yahoo! this morning, and also on Deadspin.com, with the title "We've Found The Dirtiest High School Basketball Players In America".
"I think he's making the team look bad, and he's not playing right" said Indio Paul, Connell resident.
Superintendent Taylor says he recognizes that the fouls - which all took place within the first ten minutes of the game - were innapropriate and excessive.
He says the district has taken action to make sure this doesn't happen again.
"This is not a true representation of who we are and we want to change that to make sure that if this is the image that some people are getting, we need to change that image" said Taylor.
We spoke with Cole Vanderbilt's family about the video today off-camera.
They believe the video has been blown out of proportion.
They say Cole is a "nice, good kid."
"The kids were pulled out of the game, the coaches talked to the kids. I know there was a major discussion at halftime about making sure they're playing good ball, good sportsmanship" said Taylor.
The national stories have generated thousands of comments from readers from across the country - most of them being harsh to the team, the player and the city of Connell.
"Little disappointed I guess. They're pretty bad" said Anzures.
The man who recorded the video is an uncle of one of the players from Highland High School.
He says he also didn't expect the video to take off like it did, but says the contents of the video speak for themselves.
The video is currently under review by the Washington Officials Association.
Taylor would not tell us the details of the corrective measures being put in place to make sure this doesn't happen again.
But he says the coach will not be fired.
You can see the YouTube video here.