A Texas football referee has been banned from ever working in one of the Dallas area's largest districts after his irritation with a school's band spilled over into a rather rash decision to forcibly keep it from playing.
As reported by Dallas TV network WFAA, an unidentified member of the Dallas Football Officials Association became so agitated with the Garland (Texas) Hudson Middle School band that he began "shushing" it during the first half of a Hudson game. Apparently the referee felt that the band was performing too loudly, and when he'd had enough, he penalized the Hudson team for its band. Then he threatened to penalize the Hudson football team again each time the band played another song.
"Hudson had the ball, our band started to play... and that's when the ref threw the flag," Hudson band mother Jo Ann Brewer told WFAA.
"I know a lot of parents will say football is more important than the band, but us band parents, we don't believe that."
The threat was a stunning step for a referee, though there apparently are NCAA guidelines that would give him the leeway to impose such a penalty at the collegiate level. Unfortunately for the referee in question, those regulations weren't welcome in Garland, as a Garland ISD spokesman made explicitly clear to WFAA.
"This was a first," Garland ISD spokesperson Chris Moore told WFAA. "The first time in the history of the district. First and last time it happens here."
As for the band itself, the Hudson middle school players left at halftime of the game since they couldn't perform anymore. They were joined by a surprising partner: the referee who penalized them and who was kicked out by officials from the school district.
Shortly thereafter, the referee was told that he will never be allowed to work in the Garland district again, and the athletic director for Garland ISD even visited Hudson Middle School on Wednesday to apologize to the band.
There's no word about where the referee might work next, but one thing is certain: The Hudson band will be back in the stands for the school's next game, and this time it won't even be penalized for a rowdy drum cadence.