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Football Officials Ready to Walk After Unproductive Talks

July 30, 1986|STEVE HENSON | Times Staff Writer

Football officials throughout Southern California remained determined to boycott the upcoming season after no progress was made in a meeting Tuesday with high school administrators at the Southern Section office in Cerritos.

With the start of the season less than six weeks away, no further negotiations are scheduled.

"They refuse to budge," said Les Bruckner, one of three officials who represented the Southern California Football Officials Assn. "They're letting a couple of dollars stand in the way of the football season."

Joe Rubio, president of the association, and Dave Hull also represented the officials. Representing schools at the meeting were Southern Section Commissioner Stan Thomas, City Section Commissioner Jim Cheffers, two representatives from the Southern Section executive council and two from the City Section executive council.

"We met in an attempt to resolve concerns and do a lot of listening," Thomas said. "Unfortunately, we could not reach middle ground in today's meeting.

"We are trying. Based on our inability to give the officials what they wanted on the spot, they declined to put off the boycott. I am bound by process. When it gets down to it, my office doesn't make judgments or decisions, the Southern Section executive council does."

The next meeting of the Southern Section executive council, which has the authority to alter the pay scale for officials, is Sept. 23. Games are scheduled to begin in the second week of September.

"They claim they cannot move because of administrative structure," Bruckner said. "We've met all spring trying to come to an agreement."

Administrators met with basketball officials following the meeting with football officials. "Basketball officials were very receptive," Thomas said. "They understand the process that needs to generate the outcome they would like."

Football officials, who voted May 22 to boycott, object to a pay scale adopted by the Southern Section in May and to working back-to-back junior varsity and varsity games.

Under the new pay scale, officials will receive a raise of $1 a game this season and $2 a game for each of the next two seasons. Officials seek a raise of $3 a game this season. Last season, three of the four officials working a single game earned $34 and the referee earned $37.

Thomas reaffirmed that football will be played whether or not officials boycott.

"I assure you we will play football this year," Thomas said. "If drastic measures are needed, we will use people who don't have experience but who have the willingness to step in and officiate in an emergency situation. Of course, we prefer to have sanctioned officials. There are difficult days ahead."

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