What’s the Scoop on Local Basketball Officials Not Getting Frito Pie
I don't remember a time when Fritos corn chips were in the news so much in the Lubbock area. First, it was the shortage of corn chips in local grocery stores, and now a group of basketball officials allegedly walked out of a basketball game because they weren't given Frito Pie in between games.
On Tuesday night, January 25th, a bizarre story started trickling out of Olton, Texas. Allegedly, after the Farwell girls beat Olton's girls 60-25, players from the Boys teams started to warm up on the court. According to lubbockonline.com, "With about five minutes left until tip-off, the two officials — who were scheduled to referee the second game — emerged from the locker room in street clothes and their bags packed."
Several media outlets are reporting that the issues between the officials stemmed from the Olton concession stand denying the pair of officials Frito Pie.
That story has not been confirmed by the schools, but the officials walking out of the game has.
The two officials in question were indeed a part of the Lubbock Basketball Officials Chapter, which has released a statement on the incident in question saying that they were investigating the events from Tuesday night.
The superintendent from Olton released a statement that said the boys' game was rescheduled for January 27th at 7 p.m. in Olton. There was also a meeting between the District Executive Committee of which Farwell and Olton are members, which decided that Olton was not "negligent in securing a safe environment for officials, students, and fans."
I talked to three separate officials that have officiated basketball in Lubbock with more than 50 years of combined experience and none of them had ever heard of a situation like this. They also told me they'd never even asked for free food and didn't expect to be fed as part of their officiating service.
According to sources, there's more to this story than just Frito pie, but that the Frito pie might have started the argument between the officials and Olton administration that led to the eventual walkout.
When I first heard the story last night, I just assumed that fans had become unruly in the crowd and that led to the officials feeling unsafe to continue for the boys game. However, the statement released from the District Executive Committee and the Olton Superintendent refutes that there was such an environment.
I was told by another official that the general rule of thumb in the officiating community is to always finish the game. If there's an issue with the administration, finish the game, and then file an incident report to the UIL.
To be fair, high school officiating is often a thankless job. They get hammered night in and night out for what equates to volunteer work for most of them. Obviously, they're getting paid, but most of the high school officials I know do the work for the love of the game. They aren't getting cut NBA-level checks, and most of them are out there truly trying their best.
In my opinion, what transpired in Olton had to have been about more than just Frito Pie. Granted, I've never eaten the Frito Pie in Olton's gym, but if it's good enough to walk out over, it'd probably be good enough to pay for.
I'm glad these two teams could reschedule the game so quickly and not have to miss any more games after missing out on so much of the high school experience over the last two years. I also hope whatever happened between the officials and the Olton administration is resolved, because that's not something that should be happening. In fact, this is the first time I've ever heard of it happening.
I'm now going to go find some Frito Pie to eat, but I'll gladly pay for it.
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