November 15, 2005.
WAGS R & D Committee Meeting
Fairview Park Marriott
November 15, 2005
Committee Members Present: Lula Bauer (Director), Wendell Domon, Clarence Jones, Hap Kwiatkowski, Brian Ahearn, Chris Mroczek, Ruben Bolognesi
ASC Premier Gold Team Members Present: Head Coach, Assistant Coach, Team Manager, WAGS Rep., Players, Parents
CHAN Hotspurs Team Members Present: Head Coach, Assistant Coach, TSL, WAGS Rep., Parent, CHAN Club President.
Match Complaint: Game # 2574 – CHAN Hotspurs vs. ASC Premier Gold – U11 / Division Courage - WAGS Rule M.1.
ASC Premier Gold (ASC) filed the complaint.
The Director welcomed everyone. The Director stated that in her tenure, she could not recall hearing a case involving 10-year-old girls. Knowing the sensitivity and the potential of inappropriate language that could be used, the Director asked the adults to excuse themselves in order to allow the players to speak freely without any type of intimidation. In order to make the girls feel comfortable, the Director asked them to sit back, relax, forget what they were told to say, think back to that game, and tell the Committee what they saw/heard.
Player # 1 stated that the ball went out of bounds, and that her coach (ASC HC) said that the ball was flat, grabbed it and handed the referee a different ball of his own. She continued to say that the CHAN Assistant Coach (CHAN AC) told the referee and the ASC HC that they were the home team and that they were supposed to provide the ball. Afterwards, the player stated that the CHAN AC told the ASC HC to “go find the boat that he came here on and go back to your country.”
Player # 2 concurred with the previous player’s testimony, but added that she heard the CHAN AC telling the ASC HC that he will wait for him in the parking lot after the game.
Player # 3 said that she overheard the CHAN coaches talking about what they were going to say about the “boat” comment.
Player # 4 heard the “boat” comment and the CHAN AC saying “we don’t want you here.” She also heard the ASC HC mentioning to the referee about the ball being flat, and also heard him say to the CHAN AC “hey, I don’t want to have a fight here.” She added that the CHAN AC used curse words and that the CHAN Head Coach (CHAN HC) tried to stop his Assistant from continuing with this issue.
During the course of the player’s testimony, it was stated that adults were filling out “complaint cards” after the game and asking the players questions.
After hearing the testimony from the players, the Director called the adults back into the room. She then dismissed the players and asked two ASC parents to accompany the players. The Director then “handed the floor” to the ASC HC.
The ASC HC started off by giving the Committee his background as a soccer coach. Among several statements, he pointed out that he has been coaching for over 20 years, that he was the President of a soccer academy and that he coaches the ASC Premier Gold for free.
The ASC HC started his testimony relating to the issue of the ball being flat. As the ball came out of bounds near his bench, he grabbed the ball, tested the pressure with his fingers and told the Center Referee (CR) that the ball was flat. The CR told him that she had checked the ball before kickoff and that it was fine, therefore, ordered for play to continue. Moments later, the ASC goalkeeper told the ASC HC that the ball was flat. He also noticed that players were having problems controlling it because the ball needed more air. As the ball came out of bounds again, he grabbed it, tested it again and told the referee about it again. He went ahead, grabbed one of his own balls and threw it on the field. It was at this time that the CHAN AC started making comments, with one of them being “go find the boat that he came here on and go back to your country.” At the end of the game, as both teams were shaking hands, the CHAN AC said “I’ll wait for you in the parking lot.”
The ASC AC stated that the ball was indeed flat. He continued by saying that the CHAN AC said, “why don’t you buy us new balls.” And that the “flat ball issue” sparked a confrontation between the CHAN AC and the ASC HC to the point the CR stopped the game to caution both coaches. The ASC AC stated he did hear the “boat” comment being made by the CHAN AC to the ASC HC. While the CHAN team and the ASC team were shaking hands after the match, the ASC AC stated the CHAN AC said something along the lines of; I’ll meet you in the parking lot and I am going to cut your f****** throat.
The ASC TSL also heard the parking lot invitation.
One of the ASC parents stated that her daughter asked her what “bast***” meant… and shared with her the comment about the “boat”.
The CHAN HC thanked the Committee for moving the hearing date so he could attend. He testified that he heard the ASC HC say, “this freaking ball is flat” as well as “shut your freaking mouth”, but that he did not hear the “boat” comment or the parking lot invitation. The CHAN HC concurred with the statement made about the CR having to caution the CHAN AC and the ASC HC over the flat ball issue.
The CHAN AC began his testimony by providing the committee with his background as it related to playing soccer. He stated he has been involved with the game on many levels for many years. The CHAN AC was overwhelmed with the allegation and stated emphatically that he would never ever make the racial comment that he was being accused of. The CHAN AC described the incident by saying the game ball had gone out of touch and that is when the ASC HC picked up the ball, and felt that it was flat. The CHAN AC stated that the ASC HC said “you freaking idiots, why are you using this ball?” He continued to say that the ASC HC requested the referee to exchange the game ball, at which time the referee denied the request. Then the ASC HC took it upon himself to exchange balls and when this occured, it ignited a confrontation. As the confrontation escalated, the CHAN AC stated, “You need to go back where you came from,” meaning his bench and away from him.
When the game ended, and both teams were shaking hands, the CHAN AC stated that he told the ASC coaches “we don’t need that here,” referring to the constant use of the word “freaking.” The CHAN AC continued by stating that as he was walking to the parking lot, both ASC coaches were waiting for him and stared at both he and the CHAN HC. Both CHAN coaches decided to walk away and not pay attention to them. He also mentioned that they thought of bringing their players to testify, but they decided that it was in the girls’ benefit not to put them through this situation. He concluded his statement by adding that if he had said anything of the sort, he would have come forward and admitted it immediately; but since he did not make any of those comments, he decided to come before the Committee to state that all the allegations are lies.
A CHAN parent stated that he heard the ball comment as well as the “shut your freaking mouth” comment made by the ASC HC. He added that the ASC HC throughout the game used the term “freaking”.
The Director thanked everyone for attending, especially the players, but felt extremely disappointed and saddened that issues of this sort were actually happening in front of 10 year old players. (U-11) The Director was perplexed as she reminded everyone involved, that this outrageous chain of events occurred during a “non results oriented" – developmental league game.
During deliberations, the Committee felt this case to be most disturbing and at times unbelievable. It is in the opinion of the R & D Committee Members based on the testimony provided that:
1) It could not be determined without a shadow of a doubt that a racial comment was made. (The CHAN AC and witnesses did not say/hear the “boat” comment. Instead it was their testimony the comment “go back” was made referring to ASC’s bench area).
2) The ASC HC did use the word “freaking” a number of times in front of the ASC and the CHAN players.
3) A spectator from the CHAN team did in fact used the word “bast***” in front of a player from the ASC team as he was either advancing to or in the parking lot area.
4) The CHAN AC’s behavior was confrontational in front of both teams relating to the “flat ball” issue.
5) The ASC HC and AC testified that the CHAN AC invited them to meet them in the parking lot. It is in the opinion of the R & D committee that it is probable that this invitation could have been made, based on the emotional testimony heard. If the invitation did occur, the Committee would have preferred to have heard testimony from the ASC HC and AC that they took the invitation seriously and that they collected their belonging and left the area expeditiously. Instead the Committee heard testimony of coaches lingering after the game.
6) Had the ASC HC complied with the CR decision not to replace the game ball and had he not taken matters into his own hands by replacing the game ball, this Committee feels the confrontation would have not taken place.
The Committee directs the following:
The CHAN Assistant Coach and the ASC Premier Gold Head Coach are suspended for 4 ( four ) games to be effective at the start of the Spring 2006 season.
The CHAN Assistant Coach and the ASC Premier Gold Head will remain on probation for the remainder of that season.
Should the CHAN Assistant Coach or the ASC Premier Gold Head Coach receive negative written comments by a referee for conduct unbecoming, or receive a Yellow or Red card during a WAGS game, they will be subject to an automatic review and appearance before the WAGS R&D Committee for further sanctions.
The ASC Premier Gold and the CHAN Hotspurs U11 – Division Courage 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”.
Penalty Points Accumulation – LAUR Comets U16 D2 - 20 Total Penalty Points ( 10 Current + 10 Carry Over )
Team Members Present: Head Coach, Team Manager, Players, Parents
The Manager stated that the team was hard pressed not to come back before the Committee knowing that by receiving just one card during the current season they would be either at or over 12 points, the minimum amount required for a team to be considered for a WAGS R&D hearing. He continued by adding that they complied with all the sanctions they received for the accumulation of points during the Spring 2005 season. He also mentioned that it was stressed to the team that all cards received were not acceptable, specifically the ones received for dissent.
All players involved explained their cards. One of them pointed out that they have created a bad reputation for themselves, and that they feel that referees come to officiate their games knowing what type of team the LAUR Comets is. The same player added that sometimes they feel picked on and that they all need to turn this situation around.
The Committee thanks the Head Coach, Team Manager, Players and Parents for attending the hearing. Since the LAUR Comets accumulated 20 current penalty points during the Spring 2005 season, carrying 10 to the Fall 2005 season, the Committee thought then that it was very likely that they would have to appear before the Committee again this season. However, the buildup of the additional 10 penalty points during the Fall 2005 worries the Committee, viewing that the LAUR Comets might fall into a routine pattern of accumulating penalty points season after season.
After deliberation, the Committee directs the following:
The LAUR Comets will be denied the privilege of having one half of the home games for next season.
The LAUR Comets are assessed a fee equal to half of a WAGSL league fee. The check must be mailed to: WAGSL – 8000 Old Parsonage Court – Alexandria, VA. 22315, and be received no later than January 15, 2006.
The LAUR Comets U16 D2 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”.
Penalty Points Accumulation – SWYA Lightning U17 D2 - 22 Total Penalty Points ( 16 Current + 6 Carry Over )
Team Members Present: Head Coach, Team Manager, WAGS Representative, Players, Parents
The Head Coach started out by acknowledging that this has been an ongoing issue for this team, that it concerns every member of the SYA Lightning, and that is why so many team members are present today before the Committee. He continued by showing the Committee several plans of actions he implemented during the past season trying to eliminate accumulating cards, including a Code of Conduct, “Things We Have Done to Prevent Cards”, and inviting a referee to a team practice.
All players involved explained their cards. A very emotional parent complained to the Committee about not ever having a 3-man referee crew during any of the WAGS games, and that if they would all be there, the game and players may have been controlled better. The R & D Director encouraged this parent to visit the R & D minutes on the WAGS and NCSL website. It was stated that she would gain a better understanding as to why it has become so difficult for WAGS and NCSL to provide a 3-man referee crew on game day.
The Committee appreciates and thanks the Head Coach, Team Manager, WAGS Representative, players and parents for attending this hearing. Nevertheless, the Committee feels very disappointed and disturbed that the SYA Lightning U17/D2 had to appear before this Committee for the third time due to penalty point accumulation. Accumulating Penalty Points has been an ongoing issue, and though the Head Coach presented several plans that the team has implemented to resolve this difficulty, the Committee sees no improvement whatsoever. The Committee also concluded that the high turnover of players that the team had for the Fall 2005 season is not the reason for the tremendous accumulation of penalty points. It is this Committee’s opinion that the players are just not responding to the Head Coach, regardless of the different initiatives implemented.
In closing, twenty two points is an extremely high amount of penalty points for one team to accumulate in one season, which the Committee does not and will not tolerate. The Committee urges the SYA Lightning to “clean up” their act and warns them that they will be carrying over 8 penalty points into the Spring 2006 season.
After deliberation, the Committee directs the following:
The SYA Lightning U17/D2 is assessed a fee equal to a full WAGSL league fee. The check must be mailed to: WAGS – 8000 Old Parsonage Court – Alexandria, VA. 22315, and must be received no later than January 15, 2006.
The SYA Lightning U17/D2 will be denied the privilege of having home games for the Spring 2006 season.
WAGS R&D Committee members will periodically monitor the SYA Lightning games during the Spring 2006 season.
The SWYA Lightning U17 D2 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”.