Nagel vs West Clermont Coach's Disciplinary Action Appeal
This petition is to appeal the disciplinary action (fine, class, & ejection) of the head coach of Nagel, during the 7th grade West Clermont vs Nagel Silver football game at West Clermont Middle School on Tuesday 10/20/20. We would also like to file a complaint against the officiating staff. There was incredibly poor communication and extremely questionable referee calls for both teams.
Upon arrival, Nagel coaches were under the impression that the game start time was at 4:45pm until they noticed that the clock was ticking down to have the game start at 4:30 not 4:45. The Nagel head coach asked the referee & West Clermont school administrator about the start time and was informed that it was at 4:30. The Nagel coach explained (and showed proof from the schedule & communication from Nagel's athletic dept) that the game was to start at 4:45. He explained that the parents would not be there in time to watch their sons play and that the players were still trying to get warmed up for both offense & defense. The West Clermont coach did not seem very understanding regarding this miscommunication. The referees discussed it and decided that the game could start at 4:40, telling this to both coaching staffs. Nagel continued to warm up their players. Then the National anthem played with the game set to start at 4:30. The coach was confused but instructed his players to remove their helmets and stand respectfully. All players and coaches did so and then the game whistle blew. At this time there were only 3 Nagel parents in the stands (the team mom, the game filmer, & the head coach's wife). The Nagel coach said to the ref "I thought we had until 4:40". The West Clermont administrator approached the Nagel head coach and seemed upset for some reason (viewable on film). No one (coaches or referees) answered or explained to the Nagel coach why they could not have the additional 10 minutes as previously promised by the referees since there was miscommunication over the game's start time. Although confused, the Nagel coach went on with the game starting at 4:30. The majority of parents for Nagel did not arrive until 4:45 with the entire 1st quarter and a decent amount of the 2nd quarter being over.
This poor communication continued throughout the remainder of the game. The game went on and there were multiple questionable calls on both teams. It even got so bad, that the West Clermont & Nagel fans were joking to each other about how bad the calls were as they were being made. The last 30 seconds of the game contained some of the most questionable calls with confusion & inconsistency among the referees.
Although these are the last 8 plays of the game, they sum up how most of this game was officiated.
Play #1: Nagel threw the ball to a receiver who landed in the end zone for a touchdown. There was not a referee within 15 yards of the end zone but it was spotted at the 1 yardline even though the referee was clearly not in a position to spot the ball; it's viewable on film that the player landed in the endzone with control of the ball with no referee in sight.
Play #2... The quarterback ran the ball into the endzone for a touchdown. The side judge signaled "touchdown". A few moments later the other side judge called defensive off sides on West Clermont. The Nagel head coach tried to decline the penalty and was under the assumption that this play would be called a touchdown. Instead of giving Nagel the touchdown, the referees spotted the ball at the 1/2 yard line.
Play #3...The Nagel coach was viewably confused and asked for the referee to come over and explain the call. He would not do so. The exact same scenario as in play #2 occurred again. The side judge signaled "touchdown" again but it was not awarded.
Play #4...The Nagel coach, still viewably confused & frustrated, asked for the referee to come over and explain the call; he still received no acknowledgement from the referee. Almost simultaneously, the Nagel coach called a time out (so he could get an explanation as to what was happening) as they started another play and Nagel's QB ran the ball into the endzone for a touchdown. The side judge signaled "touchdown" again. A touchdown was not awarded as the referee said the timeout was called prior to the snap and the referee continued to not acknowledge or explain anything to the coach even as the Nagel coach pleaded for the referee to come speak with him.
Play #5... At this point, the ball was spotted on the 1 inch yardline due to penalties. Nagel's QB ran the ball in to the endzone again with the side judge signaling "touchdown" but the other side judge called offsides on Nagel. From video footage it does not appear that anyone on Nagel's side jumped. The Nagel coach asked the referee for the number of the player that committed the foul and received no acknowledgement or identification of the player.
At this time, prior to the snap, the referee berated Nagel's QB (a 13 yr old) yelling at him to not snap the ball until he heard the referee's whistle blow. This was the first time during the entire game that the referee asked the QB to proceed with plays in this way. The manner in which the referee addressed the player was audible & viewable by spectators and completely uncalled for.
Play #6... As a result of the penalty, the ball was moved back to the 5 yardline. The QB was tackled for a loss of yards on the play.
Play #7... The ball was spotted on the 10 yardline. The ball was spiked to stop the clock.
Play #8... The ball was thrown into the endzone for an interception to end the game.
This is all viewable on film and available at your request.
Since regulation was over, after the game had ended, the head coach of Nagel approached the referees. He voiced his concerns over the poor officiating & poor communication throughout the entire game; no foul language was reported. In the report it states that the referee gave the head coach 2 unsportsmanlike penalities, the 2nd of which resulted in an ejection. The 2 penalities were:
1. Walking on the field to approach the referees
The coach stayed on the sideline during multiple attempts to get explanations of confusing/conflicting calls by referees, knowing that if he did walk on the field it would be a penalty during regulation. He even used his final time out in an attempt to get an explanation of the calls. As the referees continued to ignore offering an explanation, he waited to walk onto the field until after regulation. In this instance it seems to be a gray area in the rules. Walking on the field after regulation does not warrant unsportsmanlike conduct.
2. Telling the referee that he cost Nagel the game
The head coach did voice his concerns but did not say that the referees cost Nagel the game. He did not use any foul language or disrespect.
The 1st penalty did not warrant an unsportsmanlike call. The head coach understands that the 2nd penalty could warrant one. If this is the case, then one unsportsmanlike conduct is not grounds for an ejection under OHSAA rules. The fact that the 2nd penalty occurred after regulation is also an area of concern and seems to be a gray area in OHSAA rules.
In most instances, it would seem inline with the rules, that a coach would be ejected during regulation or at least informed of his ejection at that time. It seems odd and not inline with the rules for the coach not to be informed of this ejection at that time. He was not made aware of this until a week later when he read them official report.
Thank you for your time and attention to this matter. Our hope is that the repercussions are not so severe for the head coach as they do not seem to be in line with OHSAA rules and seem quite excessive given the situation (explained above & viewable on film at your request). We also feel strongly that there needs to be some accountability on the referees for such a poorly officiated game.
The parents of Nagel's 7th grade Silver football team