in youth sports, it was a busier week for police and officials than it was for coaches and athletes…what the hell is going on?


1 Response to “in youth sports, it was a busier week for police and officials than it was for coaches and athletes…what the hell is going on?”

  1. October 29, 2009 at 3:51 PM

    read these stories and tell me how on Earth we can educate people to help this garbage come to an end?

    Copyright 2009 Beaver County Times
    Beaver County Times (Pennsylvania)

    Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Business News

    October 28, 2009 Wednesday


    HEADLINE: Man accused of assaulting soccer coach, off-duty police officer

    BYLINE: Bill Vidonic, Beaver County Times, Pa.

    Oct. 28–ECONOMY — A Washington County man has been charged with assaulting a soccer coach and an off-duty police officer during a scuffle Saturday at an Economy soccer field.

    Shane M. McMurdy, 36, of Washington was charged with simple assault and assault on a sports official. Economy police have accused McMurdy of hitting coach Earl Pannebaker and then striking police officer Erik Beringer as he tried to break up the confrontation at the North United soccer field, 2100 Big Sewickley Creek Road.

    It was the second assault on a sports official reported in Beaver County this month; the first was on Oct. 9 at a Monaca High School football game.

    According to a report written by Economy police officer Jason Woods, Beringer, a police officer with the Allegheny County Port Authority, said McMurdy was upset with Pannebaker, of Moon Township, over McMurdy’s son’s playing time.

    McMurdy twice stopped Pannebaker from leaving the field, Woods said, shouting at him, and then twice slapping a sports drink bottle from Pannebaker’s hand.

    Beringer, who was a spectator at the game, approached McMurdy, Woods’ report said, putting himself between the coach and the parent to try to diffuse the argument.

    Beringer identified himself 10 times as a police officer, Woods said, telling McMurdy to calm down and leave the area. Woods said Beringer was wearing a gun, but it was not his service revolver.

    McMurdy screamed at Beringer, according to the police report, saying Beringer was “nothing but a new parent” and was “hiding behind your (expletive) gun.”

    Beringer then dialed 911 to summon help, and McMurdy hit Beringer in the head with an elbow and then went into a fighting stance, the report said. Beringer then put his hand on his gun and told McMurdy to leave.

    As McMurdy left, he threatened to assault Beringer and also shouted at referee Steven Helm, Woods said. The police report didn’t name Pannebaker’s team or say where the teams playing were from.

    Charges were filed Monday at District Judge Ed Howe’s office and were to be mailed to McMurdy.

    In the earlier incident of an assault on a sports official, Thomas L. Phillips, 39, of Monaca is accused of assaulting referee Eric Hermick and a borough police officer during the Monaca-South Side football game.

    Monaca police officer Eugene St. Clair said in a complaint that Hermick, also a state police lieutenant, warned Phillips about his behavior and language, and Phillips eventually “put his hands on Hermick.”

    St. Clair tried to subdue Phillips, the report said, and Hermick got involved in the tussle before St. Clair subdued Phillips with a stun gun.

    Phillips faces a preliminary hearing Friday on charges of aggravated assault, assault on a sports official, resisting arrest, public drunkenness and disorderly conduct.

    Copyright 2009 Financial Times Information
    All Rights Reserved
    Global News Wire
    Copyright 2009 The Telegraph – Alton, Illinois, Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services Source: The Financial Times Limited
    McClatchy-Tribune Regional News – The Telegraph – Alton

    October 28, 2009 Wednesday


    BYLINE: Maggie Borman and Maria Nagle

    CARROLLTON — Authorities hope this week to fill in the missing pieces of what prompted a woman to hit a referee during a youth football game.

    Carrollton Police were called to an Oct. 17 tournament game at Carrollton High School for the WIVC Junior Football League, an organization for children in grades fifth through eighth. According to reports, a woman marched onto the field during the game and struck the referee after he made a call.

    Police Chief Terry Gross declined to identify any of those under investigation. He said he hopes to have more information by Friday and, once complete, the case will be turned over to the Greene County State’s Attorney’s Office.

    “At this point, I am still getting witness statements and seeking a videotape that allegedly exists,” Gross said.

    He said he has called the Illinois High School Association and Illinois Elementary School Association to determine whether the incident falls under its rules. If it does, Gross said, there could be an aggravated battery charge involved. If not, it would be up to the unidentified referee to pursue a battery charge.

    The Carrollton School District lets the league use its football field, but the tournament was not a school-related event, District Superintendent Beth Pressler said.

    Triopia and North Greene players were on the field when the incident happened, league president Matt Coultas said.

    Coultas was at the tournament, but he did not see the incident. When it was brought to his attention, he said, he joined other league officials on the field to try to calm the situation.

    “The opposing coaches were upset. Obviously, the officials were upset,” Coultas said. “We tried to calm the situation, so that the kids did not have witness this. We felt it’s something that should be dealt with post-game with discussion and not during the heat of the moment.”

    He said the league is having internal discussions on how to deal with such a situation

    “It’s new to us and has not occurred before,” Coultas said.

    The league was organized within the last year, but each team runs as an independent organization, Coultas said.

    “We’re not a sanctioned league, but we’re acting as a group to try to get some consistency in the youth football programs,” he said.


    Copyright 2009 The Patriot News Co.
    All Rights Reserved
    Patriot News (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania)

    October 11, 2009 Sunday


    HEADLINE: Students in fight identified by video // A clip on YouTube showed up to 60 girls brawling after Harrisburg and Steel-High’s JV football game. Police plan to press charges.

    But when a video of the fight near Harrisburg’s John Harris campus showed up Friday on YouTube, the investigating officers’ job got a whole lot easier.

    Students from Steel-High have already been identified and disciplined, Kellar said.

    Harrisburg High School is working to identify of as many as possible of its students involved in the fight.

    Gerald Kohn, the superintendent of the Harrisburg School District, said the high school girls will have assemblies on the matter this week. Parents will be called in for meetings.

    “This is definitely not going to be tolerated,” Kohn said. “It is definitely not tolerated inside the school, and it’s not tolerated in the community, either.”

    The origin of Monday’s fight can be traced back to altercations between groups of Harrisburg and Steel-High parents over the summer, Kohn said.

    During the junior varsity football game between the two schools, something reignited the fight among those parents’ children and other relatives, Kohn said.

    Administrators and security staff quelled the violence while students were on school grounds, Kohn said. However, once the game let out and students started heading back to their neighborhoods, it began again.

    Kohn said those identified will likely be suspended.

    “Our schools are the safest place for our kids,” Kohn said. “So far as we know, we haven’t had a fight inside the school. We have no control over what goes on in the community.”

    The assemblies, meetings and suspensions may be the least of their concerns, however, because Kellar said he will file charges against those involved in the fight.

    Depending on the level of involvement and seriousness of the victims’ injuries, charges could range from disorderly conduct, a summary offense, to simple assault, a misdemeanor.

    “We’re not going to tolerate this kind of stuff,” Kellar said.

    It appears that the video has been pulled from YouTube, the popular video sharing site.

    This is at least the second time in a year and a half that Harrisburg students’ brawling has been caught on video and posted to YouTube.

    In March 2008, a student caught video of a fight — again outside the John Harris campus — near dismissal. The fight was quickly broken up by administrators, and several students were arrested.

    By May, some of the high school’s students put together an anti-violence video that they posted in response to the fight video.

    Police are increasingly turning to YouTube and social media sites for help in solving crimes.

    When students rioted at Penn State University after a win over Ohio State’s football team, police looked at YouTube and Facebook to see who might have been involved.

    Copyright 2009 Sentinel Communications Co.
    Orlando Sentinel (Florida)

    October 28, 2009 Wednesday


    HEADLINE: Football season should be canceled

    BYLINE: Lauren Ritchie, Lake Front

    Eight years ago, a Eustis High School football player was found guilty of battery and lewd and lascivious behavior after molesting teammates in the locker room and on the bus after football games.

    In one of several incidents, the 15-year-old boy was accused of simulating sex with another teen while two more held down the victim in the locker room and removed his pants. On two other occasions, the boy was accused of inappropriately touching two other team members.

    Two troubling aspects — beyond the hazing, bullying and sex crimes — of those incidents emerged.

    First, how could this happen so many times? One boy ended up charged in three incidents, but these clearly weren’t the only ones. Where were the alleged adults who should have been supervising?

    Second was the disdain displayed by school officials, clearly annoyed by parents who objected to having their son taunted, roughed up and sexually molested. Even after the incidents were reported, the perpetrator was allowed to continue playing football. It took parents reporting the incidents to police before the boy was arrested and removed from the team.

    The football coach was forced out of his job amid allegations that he failed to supervise the kids and he tried to cover up the incidents. The principal at the time was temporarily removed from Eustis High, then chastised by district officials for his less-than-aggressive handling of the case.

    A news story at the time warned that the incidents in September and October 2001 would have “larger repercussions in Lake County schools.”

    Apparently, not large enough. It’s happened again.

    Ten days ago, a football player at Eustis High was physically attacked by fellow team members who jumped him in the school locker room, ripped off his shorts, hit his rear end and poured Gatorade on him. One of the players began simulating a sex act with the victim, the teenager told Lake County sheriff’s deputies.

    Sound familiar?

    Almost immediately, stories started evolving.

    One suspect “repeatedly changed his story,” according to the report. At first he said he didn’t even see the incident. Then he acknowledged “being actively involved and falling on the floor with the victim.” The investigator said about 15 people were involved, and because of the rapidly changing stories, he couldn’t figure out precisely how involved at least two of the suspects were.

    When the coach came into the locker room, the crowd broke up and left the victim standing there, wearing only his shirt. The boy wasn’t seriously hurt physically — just bruises. The boy’s mother told authorities she did not want to prosecute, but the case has been turned over to the state attorney’s office, which will make the decision on whether anyone should be arrested.

    Of course, the Eustis football team continued merrily on with its fall schedule, just as it did in the 2001 incident. That’s because football is far more important than learning assault is wrong.

    Think back to last football season.

    On Nov. 7, 2008, the lights went out during a game between South Lake High and Nature Coast about three minutes before the end of the fourth quarter.

    For a few seconds, no one said or did anything. Then, the referees started hearing players — and coaches — beating one another. Oh, goody! Just another football thugfest! The grownups even got in on this one.

    What’s with this sport? If it’s so doggone wonderful and such a marvelous character-building experience for young men, why does it produce boys who consider violence a form of recreation and sexual domination a joke?

    Then, there’s the humiliation and bullying aspects of these attacks, for the victims. That can be lasting.

    Aurelia Cole, chief of administration for the school district, said Principal Al Larry reacted immediately to handle the situation. Cole said the students involved will be suspended and may have “alternate placement.” She said they also have been removed from the football team.

    She learned from reading the statements that some of the boys “tried to help.”

    “Some of them we can really be proud of,” she said. From now on, Cole said, no athletes will be left alone in a locker room without an adult to supervise.

    “We don’t want anything like this ever happening again,” she said.

    That’s good, because there’s no excuse for the latest incident in the Eustis High locker room. When there’s a sexual assault that could have been prevented — and the simple method is to have an adult in the locker room all the time — then what reason justifies it happening again?

    If the School Board decided to end Eustis High’s football season right now, such an attack would never be heard of again. And with 15 people involved in the assault two weeks ago, there’s plenty of reason to do it.

    It’s downright disturbing to think that Eustis players or any other Lake team can’t refrain from behaving like savages. Even more revolting is the notion that football trumps sexual assaults. These things happen, and football just goes on. It’s apparently that important around here.

    However, Lake County could have football without assaults if it really wanted. All it would take is the cancellation of one season. Players — and coaches — would get the message.

    CONTACT: Lauren Ritchie can be reached at Lritchie@orlandosentinel.com You may leave her a message at 352-742-5918. Her blog is online at http://www.orlandosentinel.com/ laurenonlake.

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