WAGS R & D Committee Meeting
Fairview Park Marriott
May 18, 2006
Committee Members Present: Lula Bauer (Director), Wendell Domon, Brian Ahearn, Chris Mroczek, Debi Honaker, Ruben Bolognesi
MATT Mutiny Members Present: Assistant Coach, Team Manager, MATT Travel Director, WAGS Representative, Parent.
Referees Present: Center Referee, Assistant Referee # 1, Assistant Referee # 2.
Match Complaint: Game # 3618 – MATT Mutiny vs. ARL United – U16 / Division 2 - WAGS Rule M.1.
The Center Referee filed the complaint.
The Director welcomed everyone and explained how the hearing was going to be conducted. The Center Referee ( CR ) was the first one to testify and began stating his side of the alleged incident. He stated that he was assigned to be the CR for the above mentioned game which ended 2 to 1 in favor of ARL United. After the conclusion of the game, player # 3 from MATT Mutiny walked by the CR and stated “you s**k”. The CR proceeded to issue a Yellow Card to player # 3, and contemplated and could have issued her a Red Card per Law 12 of FIFA rules.
After this incident, the CR sat with the two Assistant Referees ( AR ) waiting for the next game they were assigned to officiate. A few minutes later, Player # 3’s father came over to them in a confrontational manner and asked them “ … you got something to say to me…” The father told the referees who he was and demanded to know why his daughter was carded. The CR told him that it was for dissent and asked the man to leave. The father turned to walk away while using profanity.
The CR was assigned to officiate the following NCSL U-15 match. During the course of the match, he spotted the father again and planned to ignore him. However, as the father continued to approach the pitch, he started yelling while trying to get the spectator's attention of the U-15 NCSL game. The CR testified that the father was yelling at the spectators. He was yelling derogatory statements about the CR’s manhood.
After the game was over, the father positioned his chair away from the field and stared at the Referees. Due to the odd behavior of this father, the referees felt threatened and opted not to go to the parking lot in order to prevent this father from identifying their cars and license plate number. At this time the CR felt it was appropriate to call the Police. The CR stated that he watched him leave the field and watched as he got into his car. The CR was troubled when he saw the father come back to field. The CR testified that this made the referees very uncomfortable and called the police for the second time.
An officer came and was told by the father that the referees were laughing at him. The officer did not see anything wrong with this call, therefore he was not filing a report. The officer stayed and made sure that the father did not follow the CR to the parking lot. The CR got in his car and left.
Assistant Referee # 1 ( AR # 1 ) stated that it was a well-played game, and that the CR should have issued a Red Card to player # 3.
Assistant Referee # 2 ( AR # 2 ) testified that he did not hear the profanity Player # 3 used against the CR. He did add that the coaching side for the MATT Mutiny was loud and heckling, and concurred with everything else the CR mentioned. He added that the father basically came in to pick a fight and that his actions in the first case were enough to have him come in before the R&D Committee. AR #2 did hear the father make the comments referring to the CR’s manhood.
He ended up his testimony by saying that at a certain point, when the father was heading to his car in the parking lot, it crossed his mind that based on the chain of events, he was afraid that this persons could pull a gun on them.
The MATT Assistant Coach ( AC ) did not witness any part of this incident and came in to support his team.
The MATT Team Manager ( TM ) recalls Player # 3 receiving the Yellow Card. She also stated, after questioning, that the card was issued in a professional and nonthreatening manner by the CR.
The MATT Travel Director started his testimony by being very apologetic about the whole situation. After learning of this incident he called the father and suspended him for 3 games until he hears from the WAGS R&D Committee. He mentioned that further action will be taken against the father pending the outcome of this hearing. He contacted the police officer and was told that it was not a serious matter. That same evening an e-mail was sent to all MATT Team Managers reminding them of the “Zero Abuse Policy”.
The MATT WAGS Representative was not at the game and came in to support the club.
The father was on a business trip in California, therefore, he could not attend the hearing, however he sent a statement to the WAGS R&D Director, which was also shared with everyone in the room before the hearing took place.
The father submitted an official complaint against the CR from the above-mentioned game prior to the hearing. He states that after the CR blew the whistle ending his daughter’s game, he packed up his chair and began walking toward the parking lot. One of the other parents on our team called him and told him that the CR gave his daughter a yellow card after he blew the final whistle. He asked why, but no one seemed to know; so, he merely assumed that his daughter must have said something though this is not characteristic of her personality and waited with the other parents for about 15-20 minutes while the girls went through their post-game cool-down exercises.
When he saw the girls starting to walk across the field, he began walking toward the parking lot. His daughter eventually caught up with him somewhere between the field and the parking lot. It was at that point that she told him that as she was walking past the three referees at the corner of the field closest to the parking lot, the CR made lewd comments to, and about her, as all three laughed at her. He turned to look at the referees who were still sitting at the corner of the field and alleged that they were pointing to his daughter and laughing.
He decided to talk to the referees about their behavior. He walked back to them and asked them why they were pointing and laughing at his daughter. The father alleged that the CR said, “No reason.” The father responded by asking there surely must be a reason, and they all said, “No.”
He then asked what she said, and asked if she swore at him. The CR said, “No, there was no cussing.” The father said, “OK, then what did she say? I’m her father, and I want to discipline her if she was being disrespectful.” The CR wouldn’t tell him what she said despite several more such inquiries, simply saying that he “didn’t want to get into that.” At one point, one of the assistant referees stated that he heard his daughter say it as well, but he, too, would not tell him what she said. This assistant referee would only say that what she said was ““dissent.” The father’s report continued by stating, “after a few minutes I left for the parking lot”.
The father states he drove his daughter home and, over lunch, he asked his daughter if she had said anything to the CR. She stated that she said nothing to him to warrant the yellow card after the game, and that she said nothing to him after the yellow card was issued, but she also told her father that the CR has issued the yellow card in a mocking manner and laughed at her while doing so. The father also reported that his daughter told him that she said nothing to the CR when he and his two assistant referees were harassing her as she left the field.
The father further reported that he has another daughter who plays in WAGS, and she had to be at the same field for a game at 1:30 PM. So, he and his wife drove his second daughter to the field. He sat with the other parents near the corner of the field as they waited for the 12:30 game to end. It turned out that the referee that he alleged was harassing his daughter, and his two assistants, were officiating the 12:30 game that separated the games of his two daughters.
The father reported that he did not make any comments directly to the CR during that game. In his written report he claimed; when the game was over, as the CR walked to the parking lot, he did remarked to the other parents in the area, that the referee in the yellow shirt was the one who harassed his daughter, and that he did not have the courage to admit it when confronted after the game. He said that he must be the kind of person that is so insecure in his manhood that he has to harass young girls to feel like a man coupled with other inappropriate comments. The father admitted that he made that remark openly about the CR’s manhood, and loud enough for those on the touchline to hear, but not loud enough for the CR to hear.
He continued by reporting that when the two assistant referees overheard his comments, he allegedly over heard the CR ask what was said, and that they told him. He continued to report that the CR immediately got out his telephone out and called the police. He felt calling the police was a gross overreaction, since he felt nothing was said to him, and he was clearly in no danger.
As the father watched his second daughter’s game, a police officer arrived and asked to speak with him. The officer stated that the CR said that he had been “stalking” him. The father stated that he was merely watching his second daughter’s game, and that the CR overreacted. The officer was fine with that, and left.
The father’s wife came to the hearing on his behalf. She brought in statements from 2 MATT Mutiny parents and stated that she did not hear her husband making the above mentioned comments about the CR and that her husband is not unstable.
A Committee member asked the father’s wife if the father ever felt his daughter was harassed by other referees, to which the wife responded negatively.
This same Committee member expressed to the MATT Mutiny team members that it was alarming to him to hear that this individual was talking inappropriately in front of adults and foremost, children.
A second Committee member stated that no one has disputed the facts. What is disputed is that the volume and direction in which these comments were made. However, it was the opinion of this Committee member, that the volume and direction are irrelevant and do not mitigate what was said.
The R&D Director concluded the hearing by stating that there must be something wrong when three grown men are frightened so much that they felt the need to call the police, and added that she hope that the entire club understands the impact of what transpired at this hearing.
During deliberations, the Committee felt this case was beyond disturbing. It is in the opinion of the R & D Committee Members based on the testimony provided that:
1) The MATT Mutiny father made demeaning, derogatory and humiliating comments about the Center Referee. Incriminating testimonies asserting these allegations were presented by the CR, the father, the father’s wife and the 2 parents’ written statements brought by the father’s wife.
2) According to testimonies heard from the father, (written testimony) the father’s wife and the 2 parents’ written statements brought by the father’s wife, the use of inappropriate comments were not wrong because they were not made directly in front of the referee.
3) The volume and direction to where the comments were made are not relevant.
4) The father used inappropriate language as he walked off from the initial confrontation.
5) The referees felt freighted enough that the police had to be called twice to make sure the CR could got to his car safely.
Based on all testimonies heard, the facts mentioned above, and the WAGS rule below, the Committee directs the following:
ALL AGE GROUPS
“COACHES ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONDUCT OF THEIR PLAYERS AND SPECTATORS. IF A SPECTATOR’S CONDUCT WARRANTS THE ISSUANCE OF A YELLOW AND/OR RED CARD, IT WILL BE CONSIDERED AS AWARDED TO THE COACH AND REFRREED TO THE R&D DIRECTOR FOR ACTION”
The WAGS R&D Committee feels hard pressed to censure the Head Coach of the Matt Mutiny or the players for the action of a parent… therefore, this Committee will defer to the Travel Director to propose an appropriate sanction at the club level. If the proposal is acceptable to the R&D Committee, the team or the Coach will not be penalized.
The MATT Travel Director must present its sanction via e-mail to the WAGS R & D Director within 30 days of receipt of this Letter of Censure.
Should the WAGS R & D Committee disagree with the proposed sanction, the Committee reserves the right to revisit this hearing and replace the sanction proposed by the MATT Travel Director.
The MATT Mutiny U16 – Division 2 were informed that they have the right to appeal the decision of the WAGS R & D Committee according to Rule O, “Protests and Appeals Procedures”.