Another player affected by lack of appeals
Willingly or not, maybe Parker Rasmussen should be the poster child for having an appeals process about automatic suspensions after ejections. The Desert Ridge quarterback can’t play this week against Red Mountain after he was tossed from last week’s win against Skyline for allegedly bumping into a referee during a scrum following a couple personal foul penalties on the Jaguars.
Nothing changed last year when former Apache Junction coach Rich Milligan was tossed from a game after an unsportsmanlike penalty was called against his team for what he called “incidental” contact with a referee, followed by an official running into one of his players (who had his back to the official) inside the team’s sideline “box” while running down the field.
Nothing changed in 2008 when Chaparral’s Tommy Russell missed the 4A Division I state title game when both the Firebirds and Canyon del Oro sent in their respective game films to the AIA to show a Russell hit wasn’t malicious in intent and should not have warranted a suspension from the title game.
Desert Ridge claimed that Rasmussen bumped another player, who inadvertently bumped into the official.
In an ideal world, the way to find out would be a witnessing referee(s) (who should have no dog in the fight) filing a report to the AIA asking for a review of the play. The game official involved in the play (or head referee) describes what they saw on the play in question, what was called, and, if there’s a chance they might have erred, what might have been questionable that they feel warrants review.
The write-up and both schools send the play via DVD or game tape (they film every snap of every game anyway) to the AIA by, say, Tuesday at 9 a.m., and by Wednesday the school will be notified of the decision; a decision that could be made by any (or all) members of the officials department at the AIA.
This isn’t about whether the referees saw a kid punch another kid with an open or closed hand after an ejection. Or whether an official heard one kid say something out of line or not. Those should be officials’ discretion and open-and-shut cases. To avoid hundreds of appeals and wasting everyone’s time, referees would have to submit a report about the ejection in question to warrant a possible appeal.
That means the scenarios worthy of attempting an appeal would be rare, which they should be.
But things happen inadvertently, by accident or without eyewitness to the full context of the situation.
Maybe the Rasmussen exchange played out exactly as the consequence deemed it. Maybe not.
Two game tapes and a referee shouldn’t lie.