The big news out of the GMC this week has been about the two disqualifications Sayreville received in last Friday night's game against East Brunswick. And Bombers head coach Chris Beagan says there at least should be some "talk" about making changes to how those are handled by the NJSIAA in the future.
Current NJSIAA rules state that 3 disqualifications in a season result in a team being ineligible for the playoffs. Beagan's issue - and rightly so - is that there is no appeal process. Referees can make a call, and there is no accountability, Beagan says.
Though Beagan declined to come on the air with us to talk about it on "Football USA" - not wanting to prolong the conversation so his team could focus on the task at hand - we did speak by phone this morning.
Beagan reiterated there was an incident involving an East Brunswick player and one of his, where the Sayreville player walked away. You can see it in this iPad video taken by the Sayreville coaches from the press box. Correction: An East Brunswick player did not come from the sideline to tackle a Sayreville player. This was Sayreville's Mike Germann, who it appears was defending a teammate who was being excessively blocked by an East Brunswick defender.
Beagan questions the following:
- Why was no East Brunswick player or coach penalized?
- Why was star LB Mike Germann ejected from the game?
- Why was Beagan tossed from the game as well?
- We don't know. I can only surmise the officials completely missed it.
- We don't know. Certainly Germann should have stayed on the sideline. But Beagan says only one flag was thrown against Germann. Two would have resulted in an ejection. Beagan says he has seen the report filed by the game official, which states two flags were indeed thrown against Germann. But Beagan claims the second flag was actually thrown against one of his players on the sideline for a comment the player made.
- Again, we don't know, but Beagan says no flag was ever thrown against him. So, how could he be ejected? Beagan says he and many other coaches often are told to "calm down" by officials, and are given some kind of warning. Beagan says he was seeking an explanation of the call by the official, and later found out he'd been ejected.
Beagan used the same phrase in our conversation he's been using all week, calling the official's report "revisionist history." He says the report supports the ejections, when it should have included what actually happened. Beagan says what happened shouldn't have resulted in disqualifications.
The point is: there's a lot we don't know, and a lot we apparently will never know, because there is no transparent process by the NJSIAA to handle these types of situations.
No one is asking the NJSIAA to start reversing touchdown calls or pass interference penalties. What Beagan is asking for is a review/accountability process after the fact, where something in the heat of the moment can be dealt with out of that moment, when calmer heads prevail.
I, for one, agree.
The way it is now, the referee holds all the power. While that's fine in determining whether a field goal went through the uprights, or whether that actually was a holding call, potentially costing a school a chance at the playoffs is a larger issue, much more serious, and should be dealt with accordingly.
It's clear nothing will change this year, and I believe Beagan understands that.
But maybe this situation will be what drives a change in the future.