South Pas vaulter the center of national attention; our Keith Lair defends Knowles

National Reaction story: Commentators, bloggers and the national media continued Wednesday to debate the finish of a dual track meet that ended in controversy when a pole vaulter was disqualified for wearing a friendship bracelet.

Our Keith Lair, who covered the event, says don’t blame Monrovia coach Mike Knowles: One website said that Knowles could have suggested to Laird to remove the bracelet long before she jumped. Well, it was so cold that the athletes were not removing their sweats until they got on the runway, so there is no way Knowles could have known earlier that she was wearing a bracelet.

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  • sgv

    Rules are rules and it is the coaches job to know what they are and to go by them dissent matter the situations. got to do your part and make sure their athletes are wearing the proper uniform even not allowing things like that. The should of been known since the begging of the season and that has been the rule for years now and it other teammates job to help their teammates as well so no excuse.

  • ST G54

    So now the weather is to blame?? LMFAO
    Come on gimme a break!!

    Simply put it’s a stupid rule but a rule that has been in place for some time now & every athlete knows about!! There is no excuse for this especially so late into the track season..

  • New York

    So an official had warned SoPas runners earlier in the meet, and this STILL happened? Hernandez messed up big time.

    Also, are you sure she was covered up until she competed. Freddy was convinced that everyone there knew the situation.

  • Stop Bagging On The Coaches

    The sad thing is Robin Laird knew the rule. She says it herself, “I take off “all” my jewelry” … see, she knew.

    Like in Baseketball, every player “knows” you have to tuck in your jersey. The “stars” never do. Time and again, refs “remind” these “stars” about the jersey….”DURING THE GAME”..what if in a close game a ref, who’d had enough of it “T’d” a player? I don’t know if tat possible, but if it was, would the National News crucify the ref if the call turned the game?

    Same goes for the NFL, the No Fun League, where players are fined every week for “dress code” issues. One Jets player had annual fines upwards of $125,000. Now does that make sense? For any player to “lose” the cost of a college education trying to be “different”. Wrong socks, wrong lenghth, “untucked” jersey…most of the fines were before the game …”during” warm ups!

    I don’t believe the uproar is valid. She did say “she’s been wearing it non stop since November”….bad news for her coaches if I’m reviewing this case and handing down a judgment. I’d have to ask the coaches if they’d seen her bracelet before, I’m sure they had. The sad thing is every athlete saw here wear this at every track meet and no one said a word, to her, to her coaches or to each other.

    In basketball it’s the same thing as players “forget” to take off earrings, rubber bands and other “stuff” and the game is stopped or delayed while the spotlight is on them.

    This is one extremely beautiful young girl and my guess is she’s had more than one advantage in life, not making judgments here, but I’m sure everyone saw “her” bracelet and thought…”Oh that’s just Robin”.

    For anyone who’s EVER been to a Track event you’re struck by two things, how awesome most athletes bodies are and how little they have on, not saying this in a lewd way but it’s a sport were the athletes are singularly there to compete…shorts, top, singlet, body suits…whatever…it’s a pure sport and “jewelry” of ANY kind is a HUGE NO NO ! IN fact when girls show up in make up and with their hair all “done up” it stand out!

    Sorry for every one concerned but in truth Robin should step up and say, “I made a mistake” and this would be over, as it should be.

    On a different and more positive note she’ll be a Trojan next year. Like I said before that school has some of the brightest most attractive people on campus and they’re extremely gifted academically. When I take my son there it’s always the same, like an Abercombie & Fitch commercial, lol. Lucky kid.

    Fight On Trojan Lady !!!

    just an opinion.


    As a side note, I also noticed Robin Laird “ISN’T” wearing her bracelet in ‘EITHER” picture. Would have been EXCELLENT Journalism to at least have a picture of the bracelet in question.

    Am I wrong about that Fred?

  • knowles is spineless

    knowles was spineless in calling the infraction. only a coward would want to win a meet that way. dhould be ashamed of himself

  • sgv

    i wonder when this picture was taken before or after because it was was before look at her she has no friendship bracelet. if she can take it off for the picture she should of done that before the meet. its sad she did get Dqed but rules are rules coaches and students should of down that especially if that was at the end of the season pretty sad.

  • JMHS

    Aha, now Im beginning to figure out why Knowles got the BOOT from Muir.

  • Amused Reader

    It was a piece of string. Was the win worth it coach?

  • SGV For 30 Years

    I don’t understand a couple of things here. First why is Knowles the bad guy? Every track coach and athlete knows about the no jewelry rule. It applies to every high school sport. So what’s the big deal. This young lady may have made a mistake. I don’t know, because I don’t know her. But there are plenty of athletes who don’t think that rules apply to them. Knowles is not accountable for her. Where was her coach? Why didn’t he say somethng to her? I have seen a number of athletes DQ’ed this season for having rubber bands on their wrists, not having team issued shorts, and unsportsman like conduct I have not problem with officials being consistant. Which brings be to my Second point. Why isn’t whoever the official was at the meet not getting questioned about where he was, and why isn’t the SoPas. coach taking responsibility for making sure his athlete was ready to compete. He had to be standing right there since the rest of the meet was over.
    It’s time to face the harsh reality of the situation. The SoPas athlete and coach are the ones who made the mistake. All Knowles did was follow the rules. I just don’t know if a coach from another team can dq and athlete from another school.

    SGV430 Ouuutt!!!

  • Don
  • The Victim Queen! Are her 15 minutes up yet?

    Sorry but I think this girl is full of it. he blew the teams chances. The irony is this could have happen at the beginning of the meet and no one would say a word this could have happened to a less striking girl and this doesn’t create a be line for interviews. The fact is “both” schools held up the disqualification, the reasons are clear. She’s a “SENIOR” and has been doing this for quite some time. She’s heard and seen other athletes make the same mistake, maybe even more costly. When this happens in any sport every one wants a break, a change of the rules but no ones asks why the rule is in place, why it’s been held to in countless competitions across countless levels. That right bag on the coach, bag on the rules, bag on the administrators but don’t ever make a journalistic investigation into this true issues at hand, Take the easy way out and talk about grace and beauty and hate and belittlement. The 400 runner who went up to Coach Knowles did it in a polite manner Im sure, at least in the movie version he will. This is one more sign of the simplification of journalism today, a steady dumbing down of investigative reporting and the fluff that passes for news.

    Every casual track fan knows the jewelry rule. He coaches knew the rule, he team mates knew the rule, the officials knew the rule and most IMPORTANTLY SHE KNEW THE RULE.

    She has said it herself, by wearing the bracelet NO STOP since November she’d been ABOVE the rule ALL SEASON LONG….finally some one make her accountable and all her graciousness and coy “woe is me” I let my team mates down won’t take that away. SHE cheated the system and it costs her team mates a Championship. PLAIN AND SIMPLE! Too bad she doesn’t take responsibility and say, “I feel bad for the coach, our coaches, our team mates, and our seniors…I let them down knowing every team mates followed the rules but me.”

    We see it all the time in basketball, the better the player the more his jersey is out. In football, the better the player, the more his jersey is out…and in track as well.

    One day I saw a basketball player take his jersey OUT every time he was taken off the floor, every time he went back in he slowed down the game and people waited as the ref made him put it back in. After the game I asked the ref, “Does it every time huh?”…HE said, “They all do”. I said, “Ev en bench warmers?”. He looked at me and said..”Probably not”

    Lesson here is the rules apply to everyone, and the school meeting confirmed it so. What a sad journalistic twist of what happened.