One Fresno City College men’s basketball player has been suspended – and more could be as well – after a former Rams coach distributed a video this week showing alleged dirty tactics by players.
Chabot coach Denny Aye, who coached Fresno City from 1997-2000, sent the video to Central Valley Conference coaches on Monday outlining his concern of the Rams’ elbow-swinging and tripping tactics.
The 17-minute video (now private on YouTube) shows Fresno City players – particularly sophomore guard Nick Hilton – violating rules. At one point in the video, Hilton appears to look at the Allan Hancock bench and makes a throat-slashing gesture.
Hilton was suspended for four games and CVC Commissioner Logan McKechnie said he’s still investigating the claims and whether Rams coach Ed Madec and his staff had any involvement.
While there are many things on the videotape that Coach Aye says are horrible, it’s part of the game. I wasn’t upset by it. On the other hand, there are several things on the video that did upset me.
Logan McKechnie, Central Valley Conference commissioner
“While there are many things on the videotape that coach Aye says are horrible, it’s part of the game. I wasn’t upset by it,” McKechnie said. “On the other hand, there are several things on the video that did upset me ... and as a result, the school stepped in and I’m very proud of the way they’re approaching it. They’re not tolerating it.”
Aye said he’s seen Fresno City players use dangerous tactics in the past.
“It’s been going on for well over three years,” Aye said. “I would hope someone or some group investigates.”
His email to the CVC coaches alleged that the Rams staff was involved: “Fresno City men’s basketball is being taught, encouraged and rewarded by their coaching staff to commit decorum violations and sport rulebook infractions,” he wrote.
Madec did not respond to messages seeking comment.
A new California Community College Athletic Association rule this year allows coaches or staff to film other teams. As a result, Chabot recorded the Rams while both teams were at the Modesto Tournament, and additional video was shot at the Allan Hancock Tournament. Aye’s son, Tyson, coaches Allan Hancock.
We now have videotape and we can exchange tapes, which allows us to prove what the video shows.
Chabot coach Denny Aye
Fresno City initially suspended Hilton for two games and he was in street clothes for Wednesday’s victory at Columbia. McKechnie, however, said Hilton should not have been allowed to travel to the game and it would not count toward his punishment. He also added two games to the school’s suspension.
Hilton will be eligible to return Jan. 30. The Rams (17-5, 3-0 CVC) take a 12-game winning streak into their home game against Reedley at 7 p.m. Saturday.
“The line has been crossed,” Fresno City athletic director Eric Swain said. “We had some real good meetings, in particular with Nick. I don’t think this is a reflection of who he is. As long as we learn from this, then the better off we’ll be.”
Fresno City President Cynthia Azari said in a statement: “Ethical and dangerous tactics are not endorsed by our coaching staff or administration. Moreover, any misconduct will be dealt with severely when observed.”
West Hills coach Mark Arce, whose team played the Rams last Saturday, said he’s never seen any of the tactics that are portrayed in the video during his games in past years against Madec’s teams.
“Sometimes players get over-exuberant,” said Arce, an assistant for Aye in 1987 at Columbia. “We all try to get our players to play really hard and really physical, and it looks like some guys took it to an inappropriate level. In my experience, I never felt any of my players were cheap-shotted like I see in the video. ...
“What I do see is a very physical style of play, and that’s their style.”
As a result of the allegations, the Fresno City team will do volunteer work at the Marjorie Mason Center, Azari and Swain said.