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Articles

Revolution aren't going anywhere - Mar 14, 2013


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Aj Pigram
The American Basketball League is not leaving Laredo.
ABL CEO Steven Haney denied reports that Laredos South Texas Revolution as well as the Corpus Christi Clutch had left the league, outright.
Haney discussed the future of ABL basketball in Laredo, as well as the racially-motivated incident on Feb. 22 between the Revolution and Clutch, resulting in the firing of Clutch players and a Spurs legend and Clutch coach Johnny Moore , which has now left Laredos team without a home.

Revolution remain

Haney said that he expects basketball in Laredo to continue. He also sees potential in Laredo to be one of the ABLs most successful franchises of its six located in Texas Lone Star Conference.
We own the team so I dont know why anyone would make a statement (that any teams are leaving) other than the owners, Haney said. We are not leaving the state of Texas or closing the doors on the team in Laredo. We think it is a great market and we want to continue to have minor league basketball in Laredo and Corpus Christi as well.

Where has the team been?

If the Revolution isnt shutting down, then why hasnt the team played since Feb. 22, while postponing two local games? The answer points to the circumstances of its last contest.
South Texas last time playing in Laredo resulted in an expletive-laced tirade by the visiting Clutch players and Moore.
Corpus Christi shouted expletives towards the officials both during and after the game because they couldnt speak English. As one of the officials spoke to Revolution general manager and statkeeper Christine Reyes clarifying a call with the statbook some of the Corpus Christi players began to yell at Reyes, who was speaking to the official in Spanish. Of the two officials, one did not speak English, but it was not the one speaking to Reyes at the time.
Clutch guard Anthony Pigram (6'1''-G-84, college: Claflin) was in the center of the incident as he accused Reyes of cheating by coordinating calls with the officials. He also used expletives aimed at her race and her gender.
Moore was also vocal in the incident, yelling expletives in front of a crowd consisting of many young children.
Following the game, players including Clutch forward Anthony Jones (6'5''-F/G-77, college: Ohio) accused the team and officials of fixing the game.
Thats some kind of hustle youve got going on here, said Jones at the time.
One thing I will not tolerate in the league is having the type of incident that occurred on Feb. 22 on an ABL floor while I am breathing. Its not going to happen, Haney said. It was very clear to me that the incident was racially motivated. The gender expletives called at (Christine Reyes), Im a father and I have a daughter similar to her age. I dont care if we have to put the brakes temporarily on certain franchises in the league to take the garbage out.
As part of his investigation into the incident, Haney said he spoke to impartial parties who were at the game and were not involved with either the Revolution or Clutch, as well as LMT stories describing the event.
Its concerning to me that we could ever have a situation where a team could come into a city and misrepresent not just the league but the city as well, Haney said. I certainly wouldnt want some of the folks in a Bordertown to believe that the folks at Corpus Christi have some problem with Mexican-Americans, but the way it was described to me and the context it was presented, it had racial undertones. You cant yell at a Mexican-American to Speak English.
The Revolution did not have any players disciplined by the league, only internally by coach Johnny Tyson. Haney believes that Tyson handled the situation properly and Reyes handled the situation well.

Fallout

The incident has sent shockwaves through the league, beginning with a meeting with all the coaches from the Texas teams last week. Moore, whose number 00 sits retired above the court in San Antonio, was fired for the incident. His players Pigram and Jones were also removed from the team.
We fired Johnny Moore immediately. We fired Anthony Pigram and Anthony Jones and those are two of the best basketball players in our league, Haney said. We dont care. Nobody is going to act that way in this league and Johnny Moore s conduct was reprehensible at every level.
The incident has also made Haney and deputy commissioner Eric Newsome evaluate the existence of the ABL in Texas. The league has a Tropics Conference consisting of six teams in Florida, but Haney says the issues in Texas are starting to mount.
We have never had an incident on the floor in Florida, Haney said. The feedback I have received from the conduct of the coaches and the players in Texas has given us consideration to shutting the whole operation down in the state of Texas. Its been that bad.
For now, however, Haney and Newsome are committed to making things work in Texas, and that includes Laredo.
There are teams playing this weekend, so we are not ceasing operations or folding the league, but we are not going to tolerate conduct that is an embarrassment to our league or the game of basketball, Haney said. If we have to send busloads of people out of Texas to find a product we find acceptable, then thats what we are going to do.

Revolution without a home

The major problem now for South Texas, however, is finding a venue to play in. After the incident at St. Augustine High School, Haney said the Revolution is no longer welcome to play in the gym.
The home venue doesnt even want us there anymore, Haney said. They have basically banned the South Texas Revolution from playing home games because of the behavior of Johnny Moore , Anthony Jones and Anthony Pigram. Obviously it presents logistical challenges, but we are trying to resolve them and we intend on resolving them and playing basketball in Laredo, Texas.
I understand why they wouldnt want us in the gym. I wouldnt want an ABL game in that high school if I was (St. Augustines) athletic director or administrator.
Haney said he hopes Laredo basketball will be back this season and that the ABL has more than just a one-year plan, with Laredo being part of it.
I would like to see basketball resume this season in Laredo, maybe as soon as next week, Haney said. If for some reason that doesnt happen, then we will have eight months to restructure and reorganize to make sure we have the right folks in place to play our second year in Laredo. We are not closing our doors in Laredo and if that ever happened I will make the announcement, not some reporter.

Courtesy of Laredo Morning Times   




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