IN A STAR-NEWS ONLINE POLL…
Should a Monrovia High School track coach have sought to have a rival pole vaulter disqualified from a key match for wearing a bracelet?
2,142 total votes
YES: 331 votes, or 15.45 percent
NO: 1,811 votes, or 84.54 percent
By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer
The controversial ruling that disqualified a South Pasadena High School pole vaulter for wearing a friendship bracelet during a dual track meet will stand, and no action will be taken against the coach who pointed out the infraction.
Monrovia High School Principal Darvin Jackson said track team co-coach Mike Knowles’ job is not in jeopardy.
“We just needed to look at all the facts to see what actually transpired,” Jackson said. “That’s what we did with (South Pasadena coach) P.J. (Hernandez) and (assistant coach) C.B. (Richards). We wanted to see if there was any malicious intent, and it was decided that was not the case, and all parties agreed.”
Administrators, athletic directors and track coaches from Monrovia and South Pasadena high schools had an hour-long meeting Wednesday evening to discuss what happened at the April 29 track meet that decided the girls’ Rio Hondo League championship.
In a joint statement released Thursday, both schools agreed Monrovia would keep its first-ever league title and no action would be taken against Knowles, who noted the infraction after South Pasadena’s Robin Laird cleared 7 feet, 6 inches to seemingly win the league title for the Tigers.
News of Knowles’ challenge and Laird’s disqualification has sparked a heated national debate among commentators, bloggers and the media.
CLICK ON THREAD TO CONTINUE READING
“Despite exploring alternative outcomes for the league championship,” the schools’ statement
read, “South Pasadena High School and Monrovia High School have concluded together, and agreeably, that Monrovia will retain the Rio Hondo League Championship.
“It is evident from the actions of the school leaders that the spirit of sportsmanship and camaraderie remains strong in the Rio Hondo League and between Monrovia and South Pasadena high schools. We wish both teams continued success, representing the (Rio Hondo League) as a united front competing in the CIF-Southern Section Prelims this weekend.”
Both coaching staffs unanimously agreed with the ruling by the National Federation that jewelry is not to be worn during competition, but took issue with the definition of “jewelry.” Laird has worn a bracelet made of cloth since November.
“Although the `jewelry’ rule is a controversial one,” the statement read, “we deemed that it was not our position to interpret the rule to benefit either team. Therefore, CIF-SS was contacted. They responded by defining jewelry as, `anything that adorns the body.’
“While this is not the way any team would have liked to win, it was also the feeling of the group that had this incident occurred at a different time in the meet, the outcome would have remained the same, likely without the dramatics leading to such media coverage.”