High School Coach Suspended After 92-4 Win: 'No Mercy'

Conn. girls basketball coach Jason Kirck slammed for unsportsmanlike conduct
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 7, 2022 7:15 AM CST
High School Coach Suspended After Blowout Game
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/AndrewSoundarajan)

If your basketball team is winning by, say, 30 points, it's usually considered unsportsmanlike to keep making fast breaks and shooting three-pointers. Jason Kirck is finding out the hard way what happens when you violate that often-unspoken sports etiquette to the extreme. The coach was handed a suspension after the girls team he coaches at a Catholic high school in Connecticut trounced its opponent 92-4 Monday. WFSB reports Kirck's team at Sacred Heart Academy in Hamden is undefeated so far this season and considered one of the best in the state, a fact it didn't attempt to mask Monday as it played Wallingford's Lyman Hall High School.

"They showed no mercy throughout," Lyman Hall coach Tom Lipka says of Sacred Heart's Sharks, per the Hartford Courant. "They fast-breaked the entire game right to the end. They ... continued to push the ball up the court and shoot threes whenever they could." The score grew to 29-0 after the first quarter, 56-0 at halftime, and 80-0 by the end of the third quarter. Lyman Hall finally scored in the fourth quarter.

Al Carbone, commissioner of the Southern Connecticut Conference, tells the New York Times the league doesn't have a mercy rule for basketball, meaning it's up to individual teams to decide when to pull back. WFSB notes, however, that coaches take to heart local rankings and believe that posting huge scores helps boost those rankings. Sacred Heart—which had won its two previous games with scores of 83-48 and 80-37—is currently tied for third in this week's GameTime CT poll. In those cases, though, the opposing teams had made a respectable showing early on, despite ultimately losing.

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"Sacred Heart Academy administration and athletics are deeply remorseful for the manner ... [in which] the outcome of the game was achieved," the school said in a statement, noting the shocking score gap "does not align with our values or philosophies." Kirck, 47, a third-year coach for the Sharks whose two daughters play basketball for Sacred Heart, was delivered a one-game suspension by the school on Tuesday. Sacred Heart and Lyman Hall are set to play again on Jan. 28. (More sportsmanship stories.)

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