May 18, 2011 by esarsea
Jeff Pohjola, KIRO 97.3 FM, has reported on MYNorthwest.com that one hundred and fourty-three high school football referees have been severely disciplined by the Washington Officials Association; having the majority of their playoff games revoked for the next two years, loss of pay for those games, and being placed on probation for the next three years.
What did these officials do to warrant such a penalty? Last Fall, for one week, the officials wore pink whistles to help support breast cancer awareness, and donated their game checks to Susan G. Koman for the Cure.
It is the position of the Washington Officials Association that the pink whistles were a violation of the Uniform Code. So instead of admonishing the officials, or perhaps issuing written reprimands with a warning that future violations of the Uniform Code could result in more severe disciplinary action, the WOA has summarily taken away 2 years worth of playoff games from the officials – and the related compensation the officials would have received.
Todd Storhahl, WOA Commissioner has been quoted as saying, “They chose not to ask for permission, not to go the right route. It sends the wrong message to kids that are playing the game.”
News of the delayed disciplinary action just came to light this week.
Well Todd, you’re right – this has sent a message to the kids playing the game. I’m not sure it’s the right message, but it has been sent. From this blogger’s perspective, the message is that the Washington Officials Association and its, “Uniform Code” are more important that raising awareness for breast cancer. You could have easily taken a formal stand in regards to your position on following the rules with lesser penalties.
Frankly, the punishment doesn’t fit the crime.
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HERE IS A LINK TO THE WASHINGTON OFFICIALS ASSOCIATION WEBSITE AND THEIR CONTACT INFORMATION PAGE. On this page are email addresses for the WOA President, Vice President, Executive Board Members, Members At Large, and WOA Staff including the WOA Commissioner, and the WOA Director of Operations.
Please send them an email and let them know what you think. If enough of us follow through, maybe they will get our message.