There are well over 32,000 views on this particular topic at Deadspin.com, the edgy website responsible for posting drunken photos of Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton and compromising photos of former USC quarterback Matt Leinart. The headline alone tells you where one editor stands on this issue: Awesome Track Coach Wins League Championship By Disqualifying Girl For Friendship Bracelet.
Recap: South Pasadena’s Robin Laird thought she won meet April 29 with final pole vault. But opposing coach pointed out she had string friendship bracelet against rules. Laird was disqualified on technicality, giving Monrovia the victory and league title.
Dashiell Bennett, contributing editor at Deadspin.com, would have handled it this way:
… You could have taken her aside at any point of the day and said “You know what? That’s illegal. You should probably take that off.” If you truly didn’t notice the bracelet until after the vault–which let’s be honest, is highly unlikely, since that happened to be the most opportune time to act–you were not required to say anything. You could have still taught her the rule, while also teaching her another lesson about sportsmanship and magnanimity. No one believes that you feel bad, because if you did, you would have kept your mouth shut.
She broke a rule. Not a real sporting rule, like a foot fault or illegal equipment, but she did break one and if you’re okay with winning that way, be my guest. Your own athletic director said it was nothing to be proud of, but it’s a rough world out there, isn’t it?
There feelings here in the newsroom are mixed, one former track writer siding with Mike Knowles, saying rules are rules and must be followed to the last detail. I’m all for rules, too, but my gut tells me this all could have been prevented one way or another, no matter what way you look at it.