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AIA fires referee after alleged inappropriate comment asking for basketball team’s ‘green cards’

SAHUARITA – A referee will not be working at any more Arizona Interscholastic Association games, after he was accused of making an inappropriate comment involving the players on the Pueblo High School basketball team.

According to AIA Sports Information Coordinator Seth Polansky, the incident happened at a basketball game at Walden Grove High School against Pueblo High School Tuesday night.

The official knew the Pueblo basketball coach and knew he worked for Border Patrol. The official was overheard making a joke, asking to see the green cards of the Pueblo team. However, the exact comment he made is not known at this time.

The players were not in the gym at the time of the alleged comment, but it was heard by family members and fans of the high school team.

Association officials were made aware of the situation and there were a number of social media posts about the situation.

AIA released a statement saying, “An inappropriate comment was made by an official to a coach that was overheard by a parent and that official has since been dismissed by the AIA.”

Officials mentioned that the referee will not be working at any more AIA games. He was an independent contractor, not an actual employee of the organization.

On Thursday, AIA released a second statement in regards to the situation.

During the course of pregame conversations between the basketball coach at an AIA member school and an assigned contest official, the official made an inappropriate comment overheard by parents in the surrounding area. Due to this comment, the official has been dismissed from working any further contests for the association. The comment, while made in jest and in no way was meant as an attempt of legal action, cannot be justified within the spirit of educational athletics.

Julia Leon

Julia is a Digital Content Specialist for KVOA News 4 Tucson. In 2018, she earned a bachelor’s of arts degree in journalism from the University of Arizona.

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