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Navarro College: Athletes were behaving themselves when pepper sprayed

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CORSICANA, TX (KLTV) -

The president of Navarro College in Corsicana is speaking out about the weekend basketball game that ended with his team being pepper sprayed.

Monday, we told you about the Kilgore College Police Officer who is accused of pepper spraying Navarro College basketball players after the game on Saturday night.

Kilgore College says the Navarro players were making threats at the officer and bring unruly.
The Navarro College coaches say none of that is true.

Tuesday, Richard Sanchez, the district president of Navarro College, said he is extremely disappointed in how his team was treated and expects something to be done about it.

"Something is not right here and whether someone was trying to cover up fact... I have no idea," he said.

Sanchez said he knows last Saturday's game was an important and emotional one for both schools. What he doesn't know is why it ended with his players being treated for pepper spray burns.

"After the game, the players went into their locker room. A whistle was blown and out of curiosity they began coming out," Sanchez said.

He said the athletes were ushered back into the locker room by Navarro coaches.

"All of a sudden, a police officer from Kilgore [College] approaches the players [and] made the comment that he's, 'not going to let happen what happened during the football game between Navarro College and Kilgore,' whatever that means-- I have no idea-- and he began to pepper spray our players," said Sanchez.

Sanchez said the officer proceeded to pepper spray the entire team.

Kilgore College said the Navarro players had fair warning before they were pepper sprayed.

"The officers warned them that if they did not back up and stop making threats that they would get sprayed," Kilgore College Spokesperson Chris Craddock said on Monday.

"I don't tolerate any negative behavior on the part of my coaches or my athletes. I believe that they were under control," said Sanchez.

Sanchez said he has spoken with the Kilgore College president and is giving him some time to look into the facts of what happened after the basketball game and then take whatever action he sees fit.

"After he conducts his inquiry and takes action, then I will determine whether I believe the action is appropriate. If not, I will see what I need to do to see if more severe measures should be taken," Sanchez said.

He adds that if the incident had occurred on Navarro's campus, he is certain that the president at whatever college was involved would be just as concerned as Sanchez is about justice being done.

Kilgore College Police say the incident is still under investigation and they are asking students or fans who where at Masters Gymnasium on Saturday evening to come forward and tell their story so police can take a written statement and collect all evidence.

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