Spitting Consequences

By: Laura Gibbs
By: Laura Gibbs

Unsportsman-like conduct isn't the only call being made after a very controversial soccer game. 23 News was the only station to bring you the story about how a referee was spit on during the Boylan-Guilford soccer game. And since that match so much has happened.

It's an incident rarely caught on tape and no matter who sees it most everyone has the same reaction of pure disgust.

Referee Ben Buum says, “This is a unique situation that I have never seen before."

Ben Buum never wants to see it again. Buum is the ref that was missed by spit once but not twice. Guilford senior #11 Nevan Kuljanin and Guilford sophomore #22 Nino Markovic are the two players involved. Since this spitting incident 23 News has learned about what's taken place off the field. After the game the call made during the game was not forgotten. Buum says, "The students and team members came out and started screaming, cussing, threatening and spitting to try to scare us."

Buum has also pressed charges against both students for mob action and assault and battery.

Buum tells 23 News, "I'm really doing this for all officials because in every sport we might have confrontation such as this and we want to make sure we take care of this so kids don't get the idea that you can get away with it."

Guilford High school suspended both students for 5 days. And the sophomore player Nino Markovic will sit out 5 games next season. The Illinois High School Association is also expected to penalize the players and possibly Guilford High school.

IHSA Executive Director Marty Hickman told 23 News on the phone that "We have suspended schools from participating in future state tournament series and activities that we conduct till they take certain steps."

The IHSA guidelines state "The Executive Director shall have authority to investigate allegations and incidents of unsportsmanlike conduct. The Executive Director shall have full authority to invoke penalties."

Right now IHSA is waiting for a report from Guilford High school detailing the students’ account of the incident and what actions the school has and will take. But IHSA Executive Director Marty Hickman says 5 days and 5 game suspensions are not enough.

Hickman says, "I think that's not likely to be on par with the severity of this. That would be less than what we would feel was appropriate."

The IHSA records show more reports of misconduct in boys’ soccer than in any other sport. The first court date is set for next week. Another concern is what affect this could have on recruiting future referees.


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