Coronado board votes to appeal CIF sanctions imposed amid tortilla throwing incident: report

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CORONADO, Calif. – The Coronado Unified School District will appeal sanctions imposed by the California Interscholastic Federation amid a controversial tortilla throwing incident during a regional championship basketball game against a predominately Latino team.

The district’s school board voted 5-0 Tuesday to challenge last week’s CIF ruling which vacated Coronado High School’s boys basketball team’s regional championship win over Orange Glen High School, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. It comes after a Coronado resident brought and distributed tortillas that were thrown on the court after the June 19 game.

The incident was criticized by local lawmakers and advocates as being racist and led to the firing of Coronado High’s basketball coach.

In its ruling, CIF called the behaviors exhibited immediately following the contest “unacceptable” and said they warrant sanctions.

Under the ruling, the boys basketball program will be prohibited from hosting postseason competition until after the 2022-23 school year and all other athletic programs also will be barred until school stakeholders participate in a sportsmanship workshop and game management training.

Following last week’s decision, Coronado Unified School District Superintendent Karl Mueller said the district had retained an outside investigator to review the incident and that it served “clear reminders of the importance of sportsmanship and respectful conduct toward one another.” He previously stated that upon an initial review, there was “no evidence of antagonization by the players actions or behaviors that justify forfeiting the game.”

CIF’s decision was met with approval by Escondido Union High School District Superintendent Anne Staffieri, who said the report “provides us with a foundation for finding closure and a path forward.”

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