An Oyler basketball player who kicked a New Miami player in the head during a Jan. 13 game now faces an assault charge.
The father of Deanza Duncan, the New Miami player on the other end of the kick, said the charge was filed through a school resource officer the day after the incident, which was caught on video. The father and son have spoken with a Butler County Sheriff's detective about the incident, and the investigation is ongoing.
The Jan. 13 game at New Miami ended with two minutes left in the third quarter after a hard foul, followed by the Oyler player kicking the fouled Duncan in his head. Cincinnati Public Schools spokesperson Frances Russ described the incident that forced the abrupt shutdown as an “unsportsmanlike act."
Later, social media rumors alleged that New Miami spectators and athletes had used racial slurs and made "inflammatory comments" to taunt the Oyler team during the game. Cincinnati Public Schools and New Miami have since conducted investigations, part of which reviewed game footage, and found no evidence that slurs were used by anyone at the game.
A release from New Miami read in part: "New Miami contacted the three officials for the game. Each provided a statement and affirmed that they did not hear any racial slurs or insensitive comments from any players or spectators, and that they did not receive complaints from anyone at the game about such conduct. No New Miami administrators or coaches heard any racial slurs or comments. A review of the video of the game does not substantiate the allegations."
Only 40 spectators from New Miami attended the game, the district said, and given the limited attendance, "it was relatively easy to hear what was said by spectators and players."
Duncan, who is Black, told WCPO last week the allegation that he or his teammates used slurs during the game is simply not true. He wasn’t even aware of the story until long after the game had ended.
“As a part of the African-American community, I would never,” he said. “If my teammates did, I would never stand by it and let that happen. And they did not say it.”
Two Oyler players present at the game also said they didn’t hear any racial slurs themselves but had heard the allegations secondhand from their teammates.
Duncan's father told WCPO his son "doesn't want anyone to go to jail," but the other player has to realize there are "consequences for every action." With a game Tuesday night, his son wants to "focus on basketball and his senior year."