Fans banned from games following melee at Vermont middle school

Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 12:17 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 2, 2023 at 12:57 PM EST
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ALBURGH, Vt. (WCAX) - More fallout from that fight that broke out during a Vermont middle school basketball game: Fans will be banned from all home games in the district for the rest of the season.

During a seventh- and eighth-grade basketball game between Alburgh and St. Albans City in Alburgh on Tuesday, a brawl broke out on center court among adult spectators. Video of the fight showed a couple of young players were also involved.

A man involved in that brawl experienced a medical event while driving home. Russell Giroux, 60, of Alburgh, died at the hospital. We don’t yet know whether the fight contributed to his death.

Now, Grand Isle Superintendent Michael Clark is banning spectators from all home basketball games in the district for the rest of the season.

The Grand Isle Supervisory Union covers Alburgh, Grand Isle, Isle La Motte, North Hero and South Hero.

In a letter to the community, district leaders said, in part: “The GISU is shocked and saddened by the physical altercation among spectators during a recent middle school basketball game at the Alburgh Community Education Center. This behavior is unacceptable, can not be tolerated, and runs contrary to everything we believe athletics in education should be.” It went on to say, “To ensure the safety of all of our learning community... we have made the difficult decision to end spectator attendance at GISU home games for the remainder of the basketball season.”

Click here to read the full letter to the community.

Authorities have not yet said what triggered the melee.

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