A New Mexico high school is being put on notice. The New Mexico Activities Association says its fans need to shape up, or no one will be allowed into the stands at the game.
“All the incidents that I can recall involved verbal exchanges with officials,” said Estancia High School Athletic Director Stewart Burnett.
Last Friday, Burnett received a letter from the New Mexico Activities Association warning him that if there are any more official reports of bad behavior at boy’s or girl’s basketball games, all fans could be barred from attending games for the rest of the season.
“It’s a very serious deal for us,” said Burnett.
According to the letter, there have been far too many parents and fans behaving badly at games. The letter says multiple fans have been ejected for being threatening and abusive toward officials. Burnett says the school is taking this seriously, but he wasn’t surprised to receive the warning letter.
“I knew that like I said had a couple incidents that kinda piled up on each other, and I knew we were probably getting close to the NMAA intervening and getting involved,” said Burnett.
Burnett says the incidents that have happened are not an accurate representation of Estancia’s fan base as a while.
“Just a couple issues, very isolated very small representation of our fan base,” said Burnett.
Burnett says they’re planning to increase administration’s presence at this season’s remaining home games. He also expects that now that fans know they need to behave in a more sportsmanlike fashion, there will not be any more issues because he knows fans want to be there to support the teams.
“I feel very confident like I said that we as a community will rise to the occasion and we’re not going to cross that bridge,” said Burnett.
Burnett says if fans were banned from games for the rest of the season, the school would lose about $10,000 in revenue. He also says it would take their athletic department years to recover.
Estancia High School’s first home game since receiving the letter is this Thursday night.