Quincy Public Schools bans Dade from attending QHS sporting events for remainder of school year


A screen capture from the video of Tuesday night's QHS-QND basketball game shows Mike Dade following him making contact with game official Todd Reichert. - QND Sports YouTube

QUINCY — The Quincy Public School District has banned a parent of an athlete from its home athletic events for the remainder of the 2023-24 school year following a Jan. 30 incident at Quincy Notre Dame High School.

According to documentation obtained by Muddy River News through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Mike Dade cannot attend any home Quincy High School athletic contests in any sport for the remainder of the school year. He was allowed to attend the QHS girls basketball team’s senior night ceremony but was escorted to and from the building once the ceremony concluded. He did not attend the team’s final home game.

Muddy River News made the FOIA request after the Quincy Public School District refused to disclose what actions it had taken against Dade following the QHS girls basketball game at QND. The school district responded on Feb. 12. Muddy River News made the editorial decision to wait until the conclusion of the girls basketball season before reporting their response.

QHS lost in the regional final Feb. 15 to O’Fallon to end their season at 25-7.

Mike Dade was attending the Jan. 30 game at the Pit, as he has a daughter on the QHS team. After his daughter was injured on a play in the fourth quarter, Dade came out on the floor to attend to her. While on the floor, he expressed his displeasure verbally to Todd Reichert, one of game’s three referees. 

Minutes later when play resumed, Reichert was standing in front of Dade on the baseline when Dade kicked Reichert in the small of the back, pushing him onto the court. Reichert turned and ejected Dade, who rose from his seat and approached Reichert before officials from both schools intervened. 

A special report e-mail to the Illinois High School Association on the incident filed by QHS Principal Jody Steinke and QHS Athletic Director Matt McClelland reads, “QHS Administration told Mr. Dade that they had no choice but to act and that his actions were not appropriate. Mr. Dade agreed, and he seemed genuinely apologetic and sincere. Both parties agreed to the following moving forward.”

Dade had sent a preemptive e-mail to McClelland the day following the game.

“My name is Michael Dade, and I am writing you for two reasons. The first is to make you aware of an incident during last night’s girls varsity basketball game at Quincy Notre Dame, in which I was removed from the facility. A punishment that I’m well deserving of.

“The second reason for this message is to apologize to you, Quincy High School and the staff of referees that had to deal with my behavior. Behavior that is inexcusable. I have often found myself “parent shaming” people who behave in a similar way at youth sporting events, and I am ashamed of now joining that group. It is incumbent upon me to set a better example, and I am committed to that goal. I’m thankful for all that you and the Quincy High School community do for our youth, and I am truly sorry for my actions.”

In the QHS letter to the IHSA, Steinke and McClelland detailed their version of the events.

“Qn QHS’s next trip down the floor, Mr. Reichert positioned himself directly in front of Mr. Dade,” the letter read. “As the play progressed, Mr. Dade said that Mr. Reichert kept backing up deeper on the baseline. The ball was located on the sideline in front of the QHS bench. Mr. Dade reportedly said, ‘Sir, you are in my space’ twice. Mr. Dade reported that he put his hands up in front of him to keep Mr. Reichert from backing into him. Mr. Dade reported that Mr. Reichert then stepped on his left foot. At that point, Mr. Dade said he pushed him in the small of his back. During the meeting, Mr. Dade said that he did not remember kicking Mr. Reichert, but the video he subsequently watched clearly showed that he did kick out with his foot. He said that he deeply regretted the incident and apologized.

“On Thursday, February 1, 2024, QHS Principal, Jody Steinke, and QHS Athletic Director, Matt McClelland also discussed the incident with Christina Meyer and Chad Struck, both QHS employees who were supervising during the game. Both were seated within five feet of Mr. Dade. Both supervisors said that Mr. Reichert ‘stood uncomfortably close to Mr. Dade’ immediately before physical contact was made. They confirmed that Mr. Dade did verbalize the fact that Mr. Reichert was in his space. They could not confirm whether or not Mr. Reichert stepped on Mr. Dade’s foot. Both also confirmed that Mr. Dade made physical contact with Mr. Reichert, though they were not sure if Mr. Dade’s foot or his hands were the cause of Mr. Reichert being moved forward.

“QHS Principal Jody Steinke was also in close proximity to the location where the incident took place. He also believed that Mr. Reichert was uncomfortably close to Mr. Dade, and he had commented to Assistant Principal Bill Sanders immediately before the physical contact was made that ‘if he (the official) takes even a six-inch step backwards, he is going to be in Mike’s (Dade) lap.'”

Reichert’s comments were also included in his report to the IHSA.

“Even though they were there, neither Mr. Steinke (QHS Principal) nor Mr. McClelland (QHS AD) spoke with me in our locker room nor spoke to me before I left the gym about the incident. It is my hope that Mr. Dade is dealt with in a manner that will send a message to him and any other fan that physically contacting an official is unacceptable at anytime but especially while the game is being played.”

The QHS officials said they were in contact with QND athletic director Bill Connell about the incident after the game.

“The suggestion is that QHS Administration were somehow negligent by not talking to him about the incident,” according to the QHS report to the IHSA. “The game was at Quincy Notre Dame’s facility. QND Athletic Director Bill Connell communicated with QHS Administration while the game was being concluded. He then spoke to Mr. Reichert immediately after the game to check in on him and ask if he wanted to press charges. He then communicated with both Mr. Steinke and Mr. McClelland the result of that conversation.”

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