Question: Why does Adam Barnhart single out Broadalbin-Perth fans and warn them before the game has even started? I think that is out of line. Meanwhile, he does nothing when the Johnstown fans single out each of our players.
Answer: Let me begin by saying that we encourage all students, parents and community members to attend our athletic events and support our student-athletes in a respectful and sporting-like manner.
Adam Barnhart is our athletics director, and he is 100% accountable to the district superintendent for the conduct and action of fans -- both students and adults -- at all athletic events at Broadalbin-Perth. Because Mr. Barnhart attends all of our home games, he has probably noticed patterns with certain Broadalbin-Perth fans who may tend to become unruly, use foul language or make inappropriate actions against the visiting team or referees -- especially during games where emotions are running hot. Before the boys basketball game against Johnstown (Broadalbin-Perth's biggest rival), Mr. Barnhart clearly believed that a proactive warning was necessary in order to try to maintain a respectful and enjoyable game atmosphere for all fans.
As for why Mr. Barnhart did not give a pre-emptive warning to Johnstown's fans, the answer is simple: He doesn't know the Johnstown fans and has no way of predicting how they are going to behave during the game. With visiting fans, he has to deal with situations as they arise.
I appreciate the fierce loyalty that many people in our community have for our Patriots sports teams, and I understand that sometimes those fans can get very excited during a hotly-contested game. I also understand that other school districts might not take as hard a stance against unruly crowd behavior as we do at Broadalbin-Perth. However, it is Mr. Barnhart's responsibility to ensure the safety of the athletes, coaches, officials and fans, as well as the integrity of the Patriots athletics program.
- answered by Stephen Tomlinson, District Superintendent
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