The case of Robin Laird from South Pasadena HS (CA) was both heartbreaking as well as provocative. As we discussed on the show, the girl thought she had won the track and field league championship for HS team when she won the pole vault event – only to see the opposing coach from Monrovia HS protest her participation because Robin was wearing a small string bracelet on her wrist that supported the World Wildlife Fund.
But the protest was upheld – the California Interscholastic Federation (and many other states) have strict anti-jewelry rules, and sure enough, Robin was disqualified, her pole vault didn’t count, and the championship went to Monrovia.
Lots and lots of calls on this case, e.g. the rules are very clear…her coach should have warned her before she competed…the girl herself should have known the rule, and so on. But no matter how one sliced and diced this case, the one item that bothered me the most was that the opposing coach waited for Robin to compete BEFORE he said he lodged a protest.
That is, shouldn’t he have said something to the girl before she vaulted? As Sports Edge contributor Doug Abrams wrote to me in an email, that would have been the right thing to do. And along those lines, if the CIF knew the coach had deliberately waited to say something AFTER she jumped, then he should have lost the right to file a protest.
To me, it’s a very hollow win for Monrovia HS. Sometimes, coach, you just gotta do the right thing.