Retiring Baldwyn superintendent and District I executive committee president Ronnie Hill isn’t accusing the Mississippi High School Activities Association of purposely manipulating games in the state tournament. He isn’t taking a side, but he does say things that are being done have given people that impression and steps need to be taken to prevent this situation from happening in the future.
Four referees from at least two games in the last two seasons say they were told to protect certain star players from foul calls.
The MHSAA has admitted sending people, including assistant director of athletics Robert Holloway, into the halftime room of officials at various events, but says it does so to give direction – praise and correction. Referees say the messages are clearly directed at certain players and they are being specifically advised on particular players.
MHSAA executive director Don Hinton and Holloway deny the allegations. One official took offense to the denial.
“Their comment of them not coming in there and not saying what they said, him saying it’s not true is a lie,” the referee said of Hinton. “It’s just a lie. Point blank, it’s a lie.”
Hill said it apparently is a common practice in Central and South Mississippi to give guidance at halftimes. It’s not in North Mississippi. That’s why Hill and three other District I executive committee members met with Hinton last week to discuss the matter. Two committee members in the South were also present at the meeting.
The executive committee has a regularly scheduled meeting today, where the topic, although not likely on the agenda is expected to discussed.
“If you need to address officials and say ‘Guys, get this under control,’ do it,” Hill said. “But let’s eliminate the middle man and there’s no need to mention numbers.”
More in Thursday’s #DJournal