By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer
Longtime San Gabriel Valley official Joe Conte, also a liaison to the CIF-Southern Section, has filed a report to the CIF-Southern Section recommending that Monrovia High School suspend girls basketball coach Basil Woodruff for the rest of the season after a postgame incident last week resulted in Woodruff’s ejection. (To continue, click thead)
Time for a poll: Basketball coaches work officials more than any other sport. In last night’s girls basketball game against Diamond Ranch, Bonita coach Darren Baumunk is restrained as he argues a call with a referee. I’m not singling out Baumunk, this goes on all over the place, we just happened to have our cameras at the game. Last week San Dimas boys basketball coach Bruce Robbins was suspended a game for a post-game incident in which he chased down officials leaving the building, and now this episode at Monrovia. I’m not saying coaches shouldn’t argue calls with officials, because it’s a part of the game and will always be a part of the game. But you have to know when enough is enough, and when the line is crossed between arguing for your team, and setting a bad example, right?
Woodruff served the second of a two-game suspension Wednesday night against South Pasadena. Woodruff was suspended after an alleged altercation with a referee after last week’s overtime loss at San Marino resulted in his ejection by the officials. An ejection calls for an automatic postgame suspension, but Monrovia officials implemented an additional one-game suspension and still are reviewing the incident before deciding whether more action is necessary, Monrovia principal Darvin Jackson said.
Junior Diaz served as interim coach for the Wildcats.
Woodruff is scheduled to return Friday against Blair, although Woodruff first must “take care of some variables” before his return is clear, Jackson explained.
Woodruff was not available for comment.
After speaking with officials involved in the incident and going over the game report, Conte explained his reasons for asking for a harsh suspension.
“As soon as the game is over, it’s procedure for the officials to stay at midcourt until the teams leave the scorer’s table,” Conte said.
“So they (officials) were waiting for the teams to clear and (Woodruff) rushed up to the official, got so close that when he got to her he was spitting at her face. I don’t know if she put a hand out or if the coach put his hand on her but there was some kind of slight contact.
“The two officials who were there to do the (boys) varsity game were sitting on the bleachers away from the action and they came rushing out there and got between them (the official and Wood- ruff) and they took the two women (officials) out to the parking lot and got them out of the gym.
“I asked that he be suspended for the year. I filed my report with CIF and they have backed my decision 100 percent. (CIF-SS assistant commissioner Rainer Wulf) did not have a problem with that last Thursday when we filed the report.”
Jackson said CIF-SS officials have not communicated with him that they back Conte’s recommendation. Monrovia athletic director Randy Bell said Wulf “did not communicate that when we spoke last week.”
An attempt was made to contact Wulf for comment, but he was out of the office because of severe weather in Los Alamitos.
Jackson said he intends to have more discussions with Woodruff, who’s in his first season with Monrovia, before the issue is resolved.
“I’m going to have a follow-up meeting with him and ask where he is at this point, and the progress of what I have asked him to do, and we will make the final decision as to where our program is going,” Jackson said.
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