Iowa student section ejected for ‘bullying’ refs
On February 24, the Lincoln High School basketball team from Des Moines traveled to Northwest High School, which boasted a boisterous student section.Lincoln’s principal took to Facebook a few days later to critique the quick dismissal by the referees, saying, “While we regret the role that our students played in this incident, we wish we would have had an opportunity to address the situation when called up to do so.”
A recent story from AOL.com detailed the events that led up to the student section being ejected.
Below is an excerpt from the AOL.com story.
With 7:25 to go in the fourth quarter, a referee approached an administrator during a stoppage and pointed to the student section. The administrator is then seen talking to the students along the baseline, but the referee blows his whistle 15 seconds later.
A video shared by Pardon My French Media shows the referee gesture for the Lincoln students to be removed from the gym.
“That’s a first that I’ve seen here in high school radio,” the broadcaster said as the students dispersed.
Todd Tharp, the assistant director for the Iowa High School Athletic Association, said the administrator was asked to stand in front of the students who he said were making “vulgar comments” to the refs all game.
“That seemed to really incite them a little more,” Tharp told KCCI. “There was a lot more bullying going on. Continuing to hear profanity.”
The profanity directed at the officials included “abusive language,” Dave Rittman, president of the Des Moines Officials Association, told WHO13.
Lincoln High School said in a statement that the referees did not address the concerns until shortly before the students were removed from the game.
“While we regret the role that our students played in this incident, we wish we would have had an opportunity to address the situation when called up to do so,” the school said. “We have no doubt that our students would have responded to the staff’s direction and been able to remain present to support their fellow student-athletes.”
To read the full story from AOL.com, click here.