BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — Battle Creek Public Schools administrators are looking into why their athletic department banned spectators from two upcoming basketball games against two Kalamazoo schools.
The district said in a statement Thursday leadership was not consulted in the decision to keep people out of the games Battle Creek Central High School is hosting against Loy Norrix and Kalamazoo Central.
“We are disappointed in how this was handled and communicated, and we sincerely apologize to our student-athletes and their families,” a statement from Battle Creek Public Schools said.
On Friday, a BCPS spokesman explained there was no particular threat or incident that led to the decision, rather it was a “miscommunication between the schools and athletics department.”
According to the spokesman, the district superintendent, athletic directors, principals and coaches met all day Friday about the issue. The discussions, he said in a Thursday statement, centered on “alternative solutions that will allow our athletic events to be fun, safe, and accessible for our student-athletes, their families, and the community.”
However, the fan ban is not just confined to Battle Creek Central’s venues. When the Bearcats visited Loy Norrix Thursday night, no one was in the stands and the far-side bleachers were kept closed, as seen on the game’s online stream. A Kalamazoo Public Schools spokesperson has yet to return News 8’s request for comment.
An Michigan High School Athletic Association spokesperson deferred questions back to the school districts, saying this “was a completely local decision.”
News 8 has yet to hear back from the athletic directors and head basketball coaches from Battle Creek Central, Loy Norrix, and Kalamazoo Central high schools.