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Old Thu Apr 05, 2007, 11:18pm
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It Has To Stop!

Hey all,

As some of you may know, I coordinate the basketball intramural officials at my university. As a quick background, 95% of the officials that work these games have never picked up a whistle before the season begins, and the players who play in the games know this.

Regardless of their inexperience, what happened tonight during a game is a problem that faces all of us...all too often. Tonight, at the conclusion of a first round playoff game, a member of the losing team (by 20), who had been given a technical in the first half, decided to start threatening one of the officials. As the official began to back away (the player, by the way, 6'4, the official, a freshman, 5'5), the player first chest bumped him, and then head butted the official.

Although a lot is still undetermined, I can tell you that the player has been suspended from all intramural sports for the remainder of his academic career, and charges are pending. Unfortunately, I was not at the gym when the incident happened, but arrived just a few minutes after. I will keep you all updated on what happens.
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Old Thu Apr 05, 2007, 11:27pm
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I would suggest having the athletes sign a petition stating, " That the officials are not professionals but student workers. They are to be respected and not threatened. If certain measures are broken you will be suspended from IM activities for the academic year or banned from your academic career." I would recommend having campus safety at all events especially playoffs.
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Old Thu Apr 05, 2007, 11:30pm
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Wow - never seen anything that bad in intramurals (though a couple of times I thought I'd come close). Good to see that the department is pressing charges. I'd also suggest contacting whatever the school's judicial system is and bringing the student up on in-house charges, as well.
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Old Thu Apr 05, 2007, 11:36pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRef21
I would suggest having the athletes sign a petition stating, " That the officials are not professionals but student workers. They are to be respected and not threatened. If certain measures are broken you will be suspended from IM activities for the academic year or banned from your academic career." I would recommend having campus safety at all events especially playoffs.
TRef,

I'm going to have to disagree with your first proposed sentence. Players at this level always think they know more than the referees, and this would just give them leverage. Granted, IM officials aren't NBA officials, but neither are high school officials. That doesn't take anything away from either set of officials. I don't care if the official is a hobo you just picked up off the street. Be mad at the organizing body, or just don't play, but by saying that "the officials are not professionals" is hanging the official out to dry IMO. I'm sure that's not how you meant it, but I'm just saying.
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Old Thu Apr 05, 2007, 11:45pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmp44
Hey all,

As some of you may know, I coordinate the basketball intramural officials at my university. As a quick background, 95% of the officials that work these games have never picked up a whistle before the season begins, and the players who play in the games know this.

Regardless of their inexperience, what happened tonight during a game is a problem that faces all of us...all too often. Tonight, at the conclusion of a first round playoff game, a member of the losing team (by 20), who had been given a technical in the first half, decided to start threatening one of the officials. As the official began to back away (the player, by the way, 6'4, the official, a freshman, 5'5), the player first chest bumped him, and then head butted the official.

Although a lot is still undetermined, I can tell you that the player has been suspended from all intramural sports for the remainder of his academic career, and charges are pending. Unfortunately, I was not at the gym when the incident happened, but arrived just a few minutes after. I will keep you all updated on what happens.
TMP,

I don't know how exactly your system works, but for the IM games I work, we have one supervisor (a student who has officiated for a couple of years, and then through an application process gets the job of supervisor) that is assigned to each game. We have an incident report system (which requires getting statements, etc.) and the supervisors also know exactly where to get campus police. We also have a sportsmanship grade, given to each team after each game. You have to have a "B" average to make the playoffs, and you must maintain that grade throughout the tournament. Any grade of "D" or "F" in the tournament disqualifies you from further play. Now, certainly you may have all these things, and certainly there is no guarantee that any of this could have prevented any of this, but just some suggestions in case you do not have any of these. At the university where I have officiated, we have given career suspensions for much less.

I will say that I am glad to see that you are a coordinator that stands up for his officials though. My coordinator is the same way, and it's always great to work for someone you know has got your back. The career suspension is appropriate, and, depending on how the overall team conduct had been, I would consider forfeiting them from the tournament. Also, I'd call the official in, and let him know that I'm behind him 110%. I know that if I were in his shoes, I might be a little shaken up.
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Old Fri Apr 06, 2007, 12:00am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewNCref
TMP,

I don't know how exactly your system works, but for the IM games I work, we have one supervisor (a student who has officiated for a couple of years, and then through an application process gets the job of supervisor) that is assigned to each game. We have an incident report system (which requires getting statements, etc.) and the supervisors also know exactly where to get campus police. We also have a sportsmanship grade, given to each team after each game. You have to have a "B" average to make the playoffs, and you must maintain that grade throughout the tournament. Any grade of "D" or "F" in the tournament disqualifies you from further play. Now, certainly you may have all these things, and certainly there is no guarantee that any of this could have prevented any of this, but just some suggestions in case you do not have any of these. At the university where I have officiated, we have given career suspensions for much less.

I will say that I am glad to see that you are a coordinator that stands up for his officials though. My coordinator is the same way, and it's always great to work for someone you know has got your back. The career suspension is appropriate, and, depending on how the overall team conduct had been, I would consider forfeiting them from the tournament. Also, I'd call the official in, and let him know that I'm behind him 110%. I know that if I were in his shoes, I might be a little shaken up.

NNC,

Unfortunately, I don't have the luxury of having experienced officials on games like you do. This year, I have one "patched" official in the class/group of officials -- and she is only 18 and in her first year of officiating; before working these IM games, the highest level of a game she had worked was a 6th grade CYO girls game. Everyone else -- when I say they never touched a whistle before this semester started, there's no exaggeration there -- I had one girl the first day of training ask me -- "Sir, what's a foul line?" Before the games begin, I get two hours of classroom training, and two hours of on court training -- for 28 students. This is the system the university dictates as what they want to do -- it's not my system, nor my boss's. The professor who is my boss and I do the best we can with the time we are allotted, and then continue to teach them as the year progresses.

I also have 128 teams in the entire intramural program. At any given time, I have up to three games going on simultaneously. I don't have the luxury of only assigning my "better, novice" officials to the games. I so wish that I did.

The team this kid was on lost tonight, so they are out of the tournament. Fortunately for the situation, I knew a lot of the kids on the team, and have known them for a couple years. As soon as I walked into the gym, the apologies to me were free-flowing.

As far as the sportsmanship grading system -- that is absolutely a GREAT idea, one that I will pass on to my superiors come Monday morning. The other two supervisors that I work with and I have immediate access to campus security; armed, campus police are a mere radio call away and can be at the gym almost immediately. Of course, though, they cannot be everywhere at all times and can only do so much.
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Old Fri Apr 06, 2007, 12:11am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmp44
NNC,

Unfortunately, I don't have the luxury of having experienced officials on games like you do. This year, I have one "patched" official in the class/group of officials -- and she is only 18 and in her first year of officiating; before working these IM games, the highest level of a game she had worked was a 6th grade CYO girls game. Everyone else -- when I say they never touched a whistle before this semester started, there's no exaggeration there -- I had one girl the first day of training ask me -- "Sir, what's a foul line?" Before the games begin, I get two hours of classroom training, and two hours of on court training -- for 28 students. This is the system the university dictates as what they want to do -- it's not my system, nor my boss's. The professor who is my boss and I do the best we can with the time we are allotted, and then continue to teach them as the year progresses.

I also have 128 teams in the entire intramural program. At any given time, I have up to three games going on simultaneously. I don't have the luxury of only assigning my "better, novice" officials to the games. I so wish that I did.

The team this kid was on lost tonight, so they are out of the tournament. Fortunately for the situation, I knew a lot of the kids on the team, and have known them for a couple years. As soon as I walked into the gym, the apologies to me were free-flowing.

As far as the sportsmanship grading system -- that is absolutely a GREAT idea, one that I will pass on to my superiors come Monday morning. The other two supervisors that I work with and I have immediate access to campus security; armed, campus police are a mere radio call away and can be at the gym almost immediately. Of course, though, they cannot be everywhere at all times and can only do so much.
TMP,

It's great that you're doing what you can though. Hopefully, these kids will come back next year, and be better officials, and before you know it, you're officiating will be of no concern. If you want to PM me with an email address, I'd be more than glad to send you the sportsmanship guidelines that we use for grading players.
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Old Fri Apr 06, 2007, 12:15am
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Another interesting route to explore in this matter is that if the school that this happened in is a state ran institution, then depending on the employment status of the student officials, this act could constitute assulting a state employee. I spent a few seasons as an IM official at OU, which is state ran/funded, and we had a similar instance of a player threatening an official. The player was ejected from the building but waited for the official and decided to throw a sucker punch on the official. Just as the punch landed a campus police officer rounded the corner and arrested the kid on the spot. Case got turned over to the state attorney's office, not the local DA like a normal case would. Not only was the kid out a ton of money for legal expenses, but was found guilty, got hit with a nice fine and something like 5 years probation, all for "assulting a state employee".
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Old Fri Apr 06, 2007, 09:05am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRef21
I would suggest having the athletes sign a petition stating, " That the officials are not professionals but student workers. They are to be respected and not threatened. If certain measures are broken you will be suspended from IM activities for the academic year or banned from your academic career."
Although that sounds "nice," it will accomplish absolutely nothing.

tmp44, make sure this player gets charges. Don't let it go away.
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Old Fri Apr 06, 2007, 09:14am
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Long before I thought about picking up a whistle...

Many years ago when I was in college, I served on the Faculty-Student Judicial Board...a kind of "last appeal" for everything from parking tickets to academic dishonesty. We heard many cases concerning student athletes, but only one intramural case, almost a duplicate of what is described.

Not only did the player get charged by the local prosecutor, the Dean of Students suspended him for the remainder of the semester (no refund of fees) and placed him on academic probation if he re-enrolled the following semester. When he tried to change schools, he found his transcript was marked with all this information and the other schools were also going to place him on academic probation as a condition of enrollment. He appealed to us to overturn the suspension, which we did not. His academic career was severely derailed because he'd lost his temper during a stupid IM basketball game and broke a ref's nose.

TMP, the bottom line is this: the school has got to step in with an additional punishment other than "banned from IM sports" to make students think twice about doing something crazy like this.
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Old Fri Apr 06, 2007, 09:23am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BktBallRef
Although that sounds "nice," it will accomplish absolutely nothing.

tmp44, make sure this player gets charges. Don't let it go away.

IMO, the responsibility of making sure the player gets hit with charges is shared by both tmp44 (as the supervisor) and the official (as the assultee). Considering the situation, the official is shaken up and possibly timid about how far they should go with this and that's where tmp44 comes into play. All the while, let the "school administraitors" be the ones pushing so the official doesn't have to fade any heat on campus. You should really encourage this official that it's the right thing to do. Also, word will travel fast to others involved in the intramural programs and they will know not to assult an official physically or verbally.
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Old Fri Apr 06, 2007, 09:52am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BktBallRef
Although that sounds "nice," it will accomplish absolutely nothing.

tmp44, make sure this player gets charges. Don't let it go away.
Right. Do not let this drop.

Also, I'm sure the University considers the officials their employees. See if there's some way to expel this schmuck for attacking a university employee.
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Old Fri Apr 06, 2007, 10:24am
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i almost had a similar situation happen when i was doing intramurals some 6-8 years ago. i was lucky in that the supervisor of the facitlity the games were played at was an ex olympic bobsledder -- and by ex I mean by about a year or 2 so the guy was only about 6'4" 230-240 about 3% body fat. 2 players tried to jump me from behind while i was leading and he just grabbed them by their shirts and lifted them and told me to head on home he would deal with it.

turned out he took them to his office, sat them down for about 10 minutes and then made them leave. when they left the 2 guys were balling their eyes out and shaking -- to this day he never told me what he said but I can only imagine -- the 2 guys werent exactly tiny either its just that this guy was a beast.
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Old Fri Apr 06, 2007, 10:45am
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I'll add my voice to the others:

1. Permanent ban from all future intramnural participation in any sport
2. Criminal charges
3. Pursue violation of school code of conduct & resulting penalties

The only way to stop this kind of crap is by sending a clear message.
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Old Fri Apr 06, 2007, 11:01am
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Tangentially, tmp, you might consider working with your local association to get some training and back-up. It may be that they'd be willing to invest some time and energy as a way to recruit and expand their own horizons.
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