The Arizona Interscholastic Association executive board upheld the seasonlong suspension of Marcos de Niza senior guard Kal Bay Tuesday while also deciding to remove the school’s all-sport postseason ban.
Bay was suspended after an incident Dec. 6 during the Padres’ game at Avondale Westview. AIA executive director Harold Slemmer said a report presented to the executive board by Marcos de Niza principal Frank Mirizio found that Bay violated rule 16.3.3 of the AIA bylaws, which prohibits players from going into the stands during a game to engage in a confrontation with spectators.
The rule, enacted last year, calls for a minimum penalty of a seasonlong suspension for the player while also placing the player’s school on probation and installing a postseason ban for all sports at the school.
Slemmer said, per the rule, that the board elected to remove the postseason ban after accepting Marcos de Niza’s report of the incident.
Mirizio and Anthony Giammarco, attorney for Kal Bay and his father, Kurtis Bay, were each given time to present a statement to the board. Each requested the board rescind Kal Bay’s suspension, but the board chose not to act on the requests, Slemmer said.
"The board stood on the rule and commended Marcos de Niza for producing a complete report," Slemmer said.
Kurtis Bay said he agrees with the rule’s intention, to provide a safe environment for players, coaches and spectators at AIA sporting events. Kurtis Bay thinks the penalty, however, should be determined on a case-by-case basis.
The incident occurred as Kal Bay was sitting on the bench after fouling out of the game in the fourth quarter.
Kal Bay picked up his fourth and fifth fouls after being called for charging, then was called for a technical foul after getting involved in a minor altercation with two Westview players following the charging call. Kurtis Bay said his son, after returning to the Padres’ bench, briefly went into the stands to yell at a spectator who was harassing his girlfriend and mother.
"I’ve never denied that he took a step or two into the stands, but I stand by the fact that he didn’t violate the spirit of that rule," Kurtis Bay said. "It wasn’t a situation like the Indiana Pacers. He was trying to make sure his mother was OK."
Kurtis Bay said last month he was considering filing a court injunction to get his son back on the basketball court. But after learning that all an injunction could do was get Kal back on the team — not guarantee the school had to let him play during games — the family decided against it.
"If they played him and the suspension was eventually upheld, like today, the school probably would have had to forfeit the games he played in," Kurtis Bay said.
Kurtis Bay said the suspension won’t affect Kal’s scholarship offer to play basketball for Colorado beginning next season.