Questionable call on high school field may lead to police investigation
A high school football game in Iowa is drawing attention for an incident between an assistant coach and a referee that caused the coach to resign and police to get involved.
It happened during the second quarter of a football game between Dowling Catholic High School and Lincoln High School at Valley Stadium last Friday.
A non-call on what looked to be a targeting hit on a Lincoln’s quarterback caused Jason Storm, a 15-year assistant coach and father of the player, to erupt. Storm confronted the referee and now West Des Moines police are involved. What exactly Storm said to the referee is in dispute, the Des Moines Register reported. The video provided by Storm’s attorney doesn’t include audio of the exchange between the two.
West Des Moines police now are looking at a possible charge of harassment, an aggravated misdemeanor punishable by up to two years in jail or a $6,250 fine.
“My first reaction was ‘How do you not call that a penalty?’” said Gary Dickey, who is Storm’s attorney, according to local TV station 13-WHO.
The Iowa High School Athletic Association is reviewing the video and plans to speak with those involved. Regardless of whether the hit was legal, the association’s executive director the issue is about what happened after the whistle blew.
“I’m saying if I’m an official, that’s my goal. I strive to be perfect, just as a player I strive to be perfect and as a coach I strive to be perfect. The reality is that officials are not perfect, no matter what level we are talking about. Inevitably, an official is going to miss a call and it’s our responsibility as adults to disagree respectfully and keep our cool and keep our emotions in check,” said IHSAA Executive Director Tom Keating.
Storm was ejected and the game was delayed. West Des Moines police are looking into the incident but won’t comment due to the ongoing investigation. Following the game, Storm voluntarily resigned as a coach and has since apologized to the Dowling athletics director.
An officer assigned to provide security at Friday’s game spoke with referees after the incident. The investigation is ongoing, but authorities had not sought charges as of Monday afternoon, said West Des Moines police spokesman Sgt. Dan Wade, the Des Moines Register reported.
The video below is from 13-WHO: