Can Oklahoma judge settle high school football dispute?


Link to video: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/oklahoma-judge-to-rule-on-high-school-football-game-call/

An Oklahoma judge is being asked to order a do-over of a high school football game following a costly blunder by referees during the playoffs nearly two weeks ago.

The Douglass High School Trojans were defeated by the Locust Grove Pirates in their quarterfinal game, but the Trojans say they should have won -- were it not for officials dropping the ball during the game's final moments, reports CBS News correspondent Anna Werner.

Down a point and with a little over a minute left in the game, Trojans quarterback Patrick McKaufman unleashed a 58-yard touchdown pass.

As the play unfolded, the excited coach got too close to the field and bumped an official.

According to the rule book, the Trojans should have been penalized on the extra point or the kickoff. But the referees instead called back the touchdown, wiping out the Trojans lead and their playoff hopes.

"It felt like a family member was taken away," McKaufman said.

The Trojans' school district is asking a judge to order the final minute and four seconds of the game to be re-played, if not the entire game.

"The right thing to do is correct that mistake on behalf of kids," Oklahoma City public schools athletic director Keith Sinor said.

All sides acknowledge the refs blew the call. But Mark Grossman, attorney for the group that oversees high school sports in Oklahoma, said these calls should be made on the field, not in a courtroom.

"Locust Grove, as you may have heard, had a touchdown called back in the first quarter. Do you give them the right to protest and ask that the game be re-played from the first quarter on?" Grossman said.

History, it appears, is not on the Trojans' side. Alan Goldberger, who has studied similar lawsuits, said judges just don't want to officiate games from the bench.

"Maybe the game will take four hours and the judicial review will take four days or a week, and then we can all read about the outcome in the New York Times or hear it on CBS a couple of weeks later, and then we can go on to the next game. Sounds like a lot of fun, doesn't it?" Goldberger said.

The superintendent for the Trojans' opponent, the currently undefeated Pirates, told "CBS This Morning" that "the team is still preparing for the state semi-final game and we hope everything turns out well in the court case."

This case has already delayed the state playoffs by a week. If the judge sides with the Trojans, the Pirates said they will be prepared to go to court too. As for the officials who made the mistake, they've been reprimanded and banned from working any of the remaining games.

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