I just read this interesting piece on Yahoo!'s Prep Rally blog, and I thought I'd share some of the details.
In Omaha, Nebraska the other night, Burke High's women's basketball team wore pink uniforms as part of a fund-raising effort on behalf of the Make-a-Wish foundation for a game against Columbus High. In the 3rd quarter, Columbus AD John Krogstrand called attention to the fact that since Burke was the home team, they were supposed to wear white uniforms, per league rules. Why wait until the 3rd quarter to do something like that, to spoil the theme of the evening? The Burke women were wearing the pink uniforms from the start of the game, and those uniforms would be auctioned off after the game. The bottom line is that game officials accessed a technical foul on Burke. Columbus took the lead, and coasted to a 62-47 victory that is now tainted because Krogstrand chose to put strict rule enforcement ahead of charity and fellowship. Krogstrand alerted his coach, Dave Licari, who in turn called it to the referees' attention.
The Burke players are still trying to fathom how they could be penalized for something like that. We've seen pro baseball players wear special "alternate" uniforms, sanctioned by Major League Baseball for marketing purposes. That's one thing. Minor league teams, like the Tri City Valleycats, have worn special 1-time-only alternate uniforms that were later auctioned off, again with the blessing of their governing body. As it turns out, Burke's AD didn't dot all the i's and cross the t's to get the proper sanctions to allow the women to wear the alternate uniforms in time.
There are protocols in place, and they weren't followed, but what is worse is that the Yahoo! account of the game makes it sound like Krogstrand engaged in a little technical gamesmanship. While the Burke AD has owned up to his mistake, his players are the ones who ended up suffering. The technical foul did a number on them psychologically and took them right out of the game. In case anyone's interested, Burke HS raised $2, 600 that night for Make-a-Wish, but now, they may be reluctant to do something like that again unless the proper protocols are followed.
Maybe next time, the schools should get together and plan everything out in advance so there isn't a repeat.