January 27th, 2007 – In a recent movie, "Glory Road", about the first
NCAA basketball team with an all-black starting line-up to win a championship,
a scene depicted Kentucky Wildcat fans taunting African-American players with
Confederate flags. The problem, since the movie was supposed to be based on real
events, was that the incident never occurred. When confronted about the deception,
the movie producers simply said it made for a better story.

The Associated Press ran a story recently – which was carried nationally and
internationally – about a small high school basketball team that was going to
boycott a game against Floyd County Kentucky’s Allen Central High, because of
Allen Central’s use of the Confederate Battle Flag and Confederate Soldier mascot,
and the fans taunting an African-American player in last year’s game with Confederate

Was this really life imitating fictionalized art? It turns out that the story
source was Ned Pillersdorf, a transplanted New Yorker who has decided to live
in Floyd County, and who is a volunteer basketball coach for the tiny private
David school which was supposedly to boycott Allen Central for the flag waving.
Pillersdorf specifically claimed that Allen Central fans at last year’s game
had taunted an African-American player on his team with Confederate flags when
he shot free throws, and that his players had voted to boycott this year’s game.
For some reason, Pillersdorf hadn’t complained about anything last year, and
had waited until after the Associated Press ran an article about Allen Central’s
Confederate mascot to announce a boycott by his school.

It turns out, though, that Pillersdorf’s flag-taunting incident was just as
fictional as the one in "Glory Road". The problems for Pillersdorf
began when David school officials held a press conference to announce that there
was no boycott, and that Pillersdorf hadn’t gone through channels to ask for
one. This means that the AP reporter who worked with Pillersdorf to create the
boycott story didn’t corroborate it with school officials, a basic requirement
of journalism, before sending the inflammatory story over the wires.

It got worse for Pillersdorf, though, when the Allen Central athletics director
pulled the records from last year’s game, and the records showed that the player
in question hadn’t shot any free throws in that game. That problem for Pillersdorf’s
story was nothing, though, compared to when his own players spoke. They revealed
that they had not wanted to boycott the game with Allen Central, and hadn’t
been allowed to vote on it, and even supported Allen Central’s use of Confederate

Finally, the African-American player in question in the flag-taunting story
drove the ultimate stake into the heart of Pillersdorf’s fabrications when he
flatly stated that the incident never happened.

Eventually the two school principals decided to postpone the game, with all
the emotions that Pillersdorf and the media had created over the fictional flag

It’s bad enough that a movie would pass off such a fabricated event as real,
but Ned Pillersdorf pretending that such a thing happened in real life isn’t
just making a "better story" to make some sort of personal statement
of his dislike for Southern heritage; it was disruptive to the community. It
cannot be allowed simply to pass. The Kentucky Division of the Sons of Confederate
Veterans demands that Ned Pillersdorf apologize to his school, Allen Central
and the folks in Floyd County for his actions, and the SCV further demands that
the Associated Press run a correction story, and apologize for its part in running
an uncorroborated fabrication.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans is a genealogical, historical and educational
organization comprised of male descendents of honorably discharged Confederate
soldiers, sailors and marines. Founded in 1896, the SCV has over 32,000 members,
and in Kentucky there are 27 local chapters called camps.