In response to inquiries regarding Saturday's Division 4A Super Bowl between Cathedral and Blue Hills in which Cathedral quarterback Matthew Owens was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct for raising his hand during a would-be touchdown run, the MIAA released this statement:
The official involved reported he had determined a violation of NCAA Football Rules and Interpretations of Rule 9, Section 2 covering Unsportsmanlike Conduct Section A. He called the violation and assessed the penalty.
There is no provision in MIAA rules (or rules for any other sport at any other level) to overturn an official’s call after a game has been concluded. Once the final whistle is sounded the game is over. (Reference – MIAA Handbook Rule #17, Page 24) The Cathedral coach chose not to protest the call when it was made.
At the start of the season the MIAA and football officials took comprehensive measures to ensure that everyone understood this rule. In fact, the officials at this game reminded the captains and coaches that there would be zero tolerance for any unsportsmanlike actions. Likewise, this message was communicated in the pre-playoff game administrative meeting, as well as the MIAA’s Super Bowl Breakfast with coaches and captains.
Anyone may parse the language of rules and apply them as they see fit. Contest officials must familiarize themselves with the rules, both the letter and the sprit, and bring their judgment to bear in calling the game. Per the Points of Emphasis in the NCAA Rulebook: “When an official imposes a penalty or makes a decision he is simply doing his duty as he sees it. He is on the field to uphold the integrity of the game of football, and his decisions are final and conclusive and should be accepted by players and coaches.”
The MIAA Philosophy reflects that high school students who participate in educational athletics learn many things from that experience including lessons that will be helpful as they go forward in life. While we hope and wish they would all be from positive experiences, sometimes that is not the case.
Losing a game or having an official’s call go against you or your team are all part of sports. Just like athletes and coaches, officials try hard to do the best job possible. Athletes must learn to put these things behind them and move forward. During their lifetime they will experience similar situations where they feel “wronged” by a superior or authority figure and they must learn to deal with that situation.
Finally, we would hope that in peoples’ reaction to this situation they would consider the students and coaches at Blue Hills Regional Vocational Technical School who feel their properly won championship is being tarnished and discredited.
Several reporters and editors contribute updates, news and analysis to the High School Sports Blog.
- Bob Holmes: A Reading resident (Go Rockets!) and Boston College graduate, Holmes is the Boston Globe High School Sports Editor. We remind you now that his weekly picks are often made in jest so everyone just calm down when he picks against Everett for 11 straight weeks. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeHolmes.
- Craig Larson: A native of West Springfield (Leo Durocher anyone? Tim Daggett?) and Curry College graduate (a proud Colonel!), Larson is the sports editor for the Globe's regional sections: South, West and North, as well as a frequent contributor on the college beat. Abington to Xaverian: it all starts with the schools. Have a compelling story idea? Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeLars.
- Zuri Berry: Berry attended the same high school as sports legends O.J. Simpson and Joe DiMaggio. (Guess which one is his hero.) He's a South Boston resident (formerly of Eastie) and the editor of the High School Sports blog as well as the go-to-guy for everything high school sports on Boston.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GlobeSchools for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our fall correspondents:
- Anthony Gulizia | @gulizia_a | Div. 1 football
- Eric Russo | @erusso22 | Div. 2 football
- Stephen Sellner | @stephen_sellner | Div. 3 football
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Div. 4 football
- Greg Joyce | @GJoyce9 | Div. 5 football
- Lorenzo Recupero | @LorenzoRecupero | Div. 6 football
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls volleyball
To reach the high school sports department, e-mail email@example.com.