CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Logan boys basketball coach Mark Hatcher said he was only trying to follow a new high school rule regarding fights on the court during an incident that erupted in a Saturday night game at Chapmanville.
Hatcher, a two-time state championship coach at Logan, was arrested after Saturday's game, in which the Wildcats beat Scott 52-47 during the four-game Nationwide Classic at the Chapmanville Regional High School gym.
Hatcher is facing misdemeanor battery charges for allegedly shoving a Chapmanville police officer after a fight broke out between players in the fourth quarter and Hatcher rushed onto the floor.
"I was doing what the new National Federation rule told me to do,'' Hatcher said Sunday night. "Based on the new rule, you're allowed to go out and try to diffuse the situation. We've never been able to do that before. There were multiple adults on the floor - not coaches or referees.''
A new rule instituted this season by the National Federation of High Schools, Rule 10-4-5 (the Fighting Rule), reads:
The head coach may enter the court to diffuse a situation where a fight may break out or has broken out to prevent it from escalating.
"[When the fight broke out], there were other people on the floor - adults,'' Hatcher said. "I didn't know who they were. They were grabbing my kids. The Scott coaches were out there grabbing their kids. I kept my kids [on the bench] on the sideline, then let the assistant coaches do it.
"There was a guy in a black outfit - a sheriff's guy dressed in black - on top of one of my kids. I rolled him over. That's the only guy I touched that I can remember.''
Hatcher said that officer wasn't the one to press charges, but rather a Chapmanville city policeman, who Hatcher said grabbed him by his left wrist in the middle of the melee.