Brookland-Cayce football coach Rusty Charpia, who on Friday voiced his disagreementwith a call made by a referee late in the Bearcats’ loss at Midland Valley, has apologized to officials and to the S.C. High School League, the coach said on Tuesday.
“I have a lot of good kids playing for me, and I want to be a good role model for them,” Charpia said. He said he did not realize his off-the-cuff comments would be printed. The by-laws of the SCHSL prohibit coaches from criticizing referees in the media.
“They can report their concerns to us because we are the ones in charge,” Bruce Hulion, the SCHSL Commissioner of Officials, said.
In the fourth quarter at Graniteville on Friday, the officiating crew called back a reception that would have put the Bearcats in scoring position. After Brookland-Cayce lost 35-24, Charpia said he would send the tape to Hulion for review.
Had Hulion found the referee got the call wrong, there would be no penalty associated with the decision, he said. But the instance could be used as an example when educating officials in the future, Hulion said.
“You know, they make mistakes from pee wee to the pros. You can’t penalize an official for just making a bad call,” said Hulion. “But I will say, I have reviewed the tape and he did not get the call wrong.”
On Tuesday, Charpia would not comment further on the play or the call, but said the matter had been put to rest. He said he is looking ahead to Friday, and focused on continuing the success the Bearcats have worked hard for this season.
In his third season with the Bearcats, Charpia has led Brookland-Cayce to a 6-2 record. The team is assured its first winning season since 2004.
The Bearcats face Swansea on Friday.