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Pink Whistle: The Outrageous Pink 'T'

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This item is courtesy of Steve Finamore.

A former St. Peter’s College Men’s assistant, Steve is now a head coach in Michigan. He constantly searches for and enjoys reading coaching clinic material and articles concerning coaching. This one was both a shocker and quite sad when you think about it.

It seems Burke High School in Nebraska had a one point half time lead in a high school girls contest with Columbus High School recently . The Burke girls were wearing pink uniforms in support of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The uniforms were supplied by Burke assistant Tom Law who makes it an annual practice to support a significant charity.

At the half with Burke ahead by one, Columbus coach Dave Lican informed game officials that Burke was not in compliance with the state association rules requiring home teams to wear white. There was no such pre-game request with the officials and/or Columbus coach for Burke to don the pink attire. The Burke girls were assessed, by Lican’s urging, a technical foul. Columbus canned both free throws at the outset of the second half. They went on to post a 62-47 victory.

Coach Lican, be ashamed!

First of all, game officials seeing Burke warm up in pink could have discussed it among themselves and the coaches. I don’t know another official who would say, ‘Those pink uniforms have to go - they should be in white’. The officials would try to compromise and keep them in the game. Like long time mentor and retired Northeast Conference supervisor Edgar Cartotto always said, “Be realistic, not legalistic.”

Second, given the situation and cause, well what would we do? I and my Jersey City officiating friends, for example, might have simply said to the Burke coach, “What pink uniforms?” In other words, you are not getting that one coach.

The reports do not tell what color Columbus was wearing. If Burke’s pink was too close to say the red or maroon of the visitors, a request could be made of the home team to put on ‘pinnies’ - the small slip over jerseys - of a contrasting color.

Finally, if the visiting coach still would neither budge nor listen to reason, we could simply ask Burke to change into white. But no technical.

Did the T cause Burke the game? No way. But the whole situation is awful.

A team in innocent support of a valiant cause should not be called out and given a technical foul. Why? To knock down a pair from the foul line and regain that lead. Again, if the Columbus coach is going to be adamant and insensitive, just explain the situation to the Burke coach and ask his team to change their uniforms.

It is appalling to know what some people will do to secure an edge. The entire situation is very regrettable.

The ledger tells us the Columbus girls won the game. The Burke girls raised over $2,600 for Make-A-Wish through that contest. Coach Dave Lican, with his lack of sportsmanship and class, proved to be the loser in this one.