The outrageous treatment of two Louisiana high school football officials proved one of the most compelling stories in our 40-year history. James Radcliffe and Chris Gambino were taken off the field in handcuffs, photographed and jailed for trying to get fans to move to safer ground off the sideline. The officials tried to get assistance from Lt. Stephen Short of the Covington (La.) police force. But Short instead arrested the officials on a trumped up charge.
Within hours, the story went viral and was reported by national media.
The officials were released on bail the next morning. Radcliffe received phone calls of support from fellow officials as well as NFL referee and then-NASO board chair Jeff Triplette, Referee publisher Barry Mano and attorney Alan Goldberger.
More than a month after the incident, Short was suspended for 10 days and demoted to the rank of sergeant. He initially appealed the suspension but resigned from the force the next spring. Jack West, the interim police chief who supported the arrest, also retired. His replacement, Tim Lentz, contacted Radcliffe by telephone, offered an apology and told him that the charges were being dropped.