By Stan Beall
The Star Herald
The Williams-Sullivan boys and girls basketball teams have been ruled ineligible for the Region 5-2A Tournament and the playoffs.
The Mississippi High School Activities Association handed down this post-season ban after an incident in which Coach Habray Carter, who coaches both boys and girls, removed his girls team from the court during a game in November.
The MHSAA gave notice to the school in early December that any further violations by Carter would result in a postseason suspension.
Since the November incident, coach Carter was assessed a technical on January 15 and was ejected after receiving two technicals on January 24 in a game at Ackerman.
"I feel like it was a witch hunt," Carter stated to the Clarion Ledger. "I get provoked every night."
The town of Durant and surrounding community are extremely upset over this ordeal, including Durant mayor Robert Johnson who stated, "It's unfair to punish the kids for something the coach did."
The Williams-Sullivan boys team is currently 22-4 with their final regular season game at McAdams on Tuesday night.
"We know what type of (boys) basketball team we had this year," said WSHS booster Timothy Johnson of Durant. "We had the caliber of team that if they had the opportunity to go to Jackson, we felt with the upmost confidence that they were going to be the 2A Champions this year."
Timothy Johnson also said he and other boosters have been concerned with Carter for the last couple of years. He felt that he would eventually do something to hurt the team with his actions on the court.
"It's been affecting the team all year," added Timothy Johnson. "We don't have respect through the district because referees are already prepared to give him (Carter) a technical because of his attitude and past actions. We weren't concerned about coach Carter's position. We are just concerned with these kids and the work they have done."
The Williams-Sullivan Yellowjackets have appealed the process and a hearing will take place today (Thursday).