N.M. athletic director sets restrictions on student seating

February 11, 2019 / Athletic AdministrationCoaching
A New Mexico high school was forced to impose student seating restrictions at basketball games when some of its fans were repeatedly breaking rules.

Photo: Kevin Hoffman

The Carlsbad Current Argus reports that Carlsbad High School Athletic Director James Johns made the decision to ban all student seating from the bottom row of the bleachers. Students at the bottom row are just an arm’s length from the area of play, and Johns said there were instances where students had to be removed from games because of their behavior toward opposing players.

According to the newspaper, this isn’t the first time the school was forced to impose such restrictions. Johns made a similar decision three years ago when fan conduct created problems during a basketball game.

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The most recent restrictions have been in place for the last two games. Johns plans to lift the ban this week after having conversations with several students who said they’ll help police student conduct.

From the Current Argus:

“The final piece I was looking for was a few students who I wanted to come visit with me and talk about handling their friends,” Johns said. “Who’s better at correcting student’s behavior than other students? There are some kids I’ve spoken to that have come forward and have told me that if they see a kid that’s getting too far on the court, as a classmate they’ll say something.”

Fan behavior has been a major headache for coaches and athletic administrators over the past few years, according to Coach & AD surveys. Conduct toward officials has become especially troubling, and state associations believe it has led to a decline in registered referees.

Just last week, a separate New Mexico high school received a warning from the state athletic association over fan behavior. The association indicated it would consider banning all fans from basketball games if referees continued to report problems.

Read more from the Current Argus.

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