Ref banned after silencing Garland middle school band

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by TERESA WOODARD

WFAA

Posted on October 17, 2012 at 10:00 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 17 at 10:38 PM

GARLAND — The Hudson Middle School band was doing what bands do: Playing for fans in the stands and revving up the players, too.

But a referee on the field wanted quiet.

"He was shushing us," said 13-year-old trombone player Maegen Benavidez.

Band mom Jo Ann Brewer couldn't believe it. "Hudson had the ball, our band started to play... and that's when the ref threw the flag," she said.

The official reportedly told Hudson's band director that the middle school football team would keep being penalized if the band kept playing. He said they were just too loud.

So the band left before halftime.

"I go to a lot of older football games, and other middle school games," Brewer's daughter Gabi, "and nobody really ever gets kicked out of them, so I was shocked."

Brewer wondered if the official's decision sent the wrong message to her daughter. "I know a lot of parents will say football is more important than the band," she said, "but us band parents, we don't believe that."

After the band left the stadium, the official was ordered to leave, too.

Then, Garland ISD spokesman Chris Moore says, the district told the officiating organization to never assign that referee to any athletic events within the district.

"This was a first," Moore said. "The first time in the history of the district. First and last time it happens here."

Garland ISD does not have a policy regarding bands playing at football games. Moore said it appears the official was enforcing an NCAA policy that never should have never been... and never will be... enforced in the Garland ISD.

On Wednesday, the district's athletic director went to Hudson Middle School and apologized to the band.

The referee making the controversial call is with the Dallas Football Officials Association. A member of that organization said Wednesday night what happened should have never happened, but then they referred media questions to the Texas Association of Sports Officials.

When News 8 reached out to them, they responded with: "No comment."

E-mail twoodard@wfaa.com

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