When a referee rules on a close play, coaches have the right to disagree. They often do so vehemently, arguing with officials on the field, sometimes screaming to the point of justifying ejection. Boys & Girls (N.Y.) assistant football coach William Miller went beyond those traditional standards and took a unique step during a heated exchange in his team's loss to Campus Magnet (N.Y.) Saturday: He mooned the crowd.
According to the New York Daily News, the on-field confrontation began when Campus Magnet converted a key two-point conversion to give it a 16-6 lead late in the fourth quarter. There was debate on whether the conversion should count, because Campus Magnet running back Raeshawn Lewis was stripped of the ball as he crossed into the end zone.
Campus Magnet coaches argued Lewis broke the plane of the goal before losing the ball. Boys & Girls coaches disagreed. Officials sided with the Campus Magnet coaches, and then all sanity was lost for the remainder of the contest.
First, Boys & Girls head coach Barry O'Connor argued with officials until he was ejected. Then his assistant coach, Clive Harding, followed suit. At that point the officials called the game with 3:39 left, handing Campus Magnet a 16-6 win.
And that's when Boys & Girls assistant Miller mooned the Campus Magnet fans.
"It's out of line," Sumter told the Daily News. "If you're getting beat and it's a bad call, you take it in stride. You don't pull your pants down."
The official reaction to Saturday's incident has been swift. Miller was fired Sunday, and it is possible he could face further misdemeaner charges of public lewdness or exposure, according to the Daily News.
Meanwhile, the Daily News also reported that Public Schools Athletic League commissioner Alan Arbuse was at the game and is conducting a disciplinary review, though he also praised both teams' athletes.
None of these public reactions make Miller's gesture more subtle or understood, but perhaps that's irrelevant anyway. The student athletes involved clearly recognized it as ludicrous from the moment pants were dropped.
"They didn't act like adults," Campus Magnet running back Wavell Wint, who scored both of Magnet's touchdowns, told the Daily News. "I think they gave up too fast. Anything can happen in a football game with three minutes left."