Oklahoma City Public School District filed and obtained a restraining order to postpone the 3A playoffs on behalf of my high school arch-rivals OKC Douglass Trojans. The restraining order was granted because a bad call nullified a TD by Douglass during the last minute of the Douglass v. Locus Grove 3A quarterfinal playoff game last week. The bad call cost Douglass a chance to win the game and advance to the 3A semifinal. Here are 4 quick reasons why I believe the injunction is justified and the last minute of the game should be replayed:
- Objective and Completely Wrong Call. Douglass lost a TD (and possibly the game) not because of a subjective, bad judgment call by a ref. If that was the case, you could chalk it up to being “part of the game.” However, Douglas was cheated out of TD because the ref did NOT know or understand the rules and without question made the WRONG call. This would be like a judge sending you to prison for a jaywalking ticket because he/she erroneously thought jaywalking was a felony, and then being told to just “move on” when you try to appeal the ruling;
- Prevents Irreparable Harm. Not granting an injunction and upholding the ref’s WRONG call would have ended Douglass’ season and the playing career for most of their players. What some people, especially non-athletes, do not understand is how important having an opportunity to win a state championship is to a high school player. Further, the opportunity to advance in the playoffs is further opportunity for players to attract the attention for college scouts which could lead to scholarship opportunities;
- Proper Purpose of the Courts. The OSSAA could have ordered that the last minute of the game be played without court intervention, however OSSAA choose to allow an obvious incorrect and unjust call to stand. As a result, in America this is exactly when our right to seek court assistance comes into play. In other words, the purpose of our court system is to resolve disputes in an orderly, organized, and fair manner and to prevent injustices from occurring; and
In closing, to allow the season and careers of the Douglass players to end on an obvious and inexcusable incorrect call simply is un-American and goes against all this country is supposed to stand for and promote.
Damario Solomon-Simmons, Esq., M.Ed., still laments and has nightmares about the state championship that eluded his unbeaten and nationally ranked senior year Booker T. Washington football team that was upset at home in the 2nd round of the Oklahoma 6A playoffs in 1993.