Friday, November 13, 2009

New Mexico/BYU: What happened to the Referee, Joe Pimentel?

Elizabeth Lambert's name is now synonymous with violent play. What happened to Joe Pimentel (pictured here, giving Lambert the one yellow card he issued)? The center referee basically folded his arms and did nothing through that match - was he suspended, pending some sort of inquiry and evaluation? Nope - He went on to referee a men's game a few days later: the UCLA/Washington PAC-10 championship match, in fact. Does that seem fair to you? This is in spite of the fact that the referee assignor and high level administrators were at New Mexico/BYU match. I've e-mailed the board of the National Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association, and am waiting for a reply. I encourage readers to do the same - this is not an incident in which a ref missed sly fouls committed off the ball. My faith in the fairness and competency level of refereeing at NCAA matches is deeply shaken by not just the poor officiating at the New Mexico/BYU game, but by the fact that the referee ultimately responsible for policing such things was in essence rewarded for his failings. When do we get a public statement from him, from the NISOA and from the coaching staff at New Mexico accepting responsibility for their role in keeping an out of control player on the field?


  1. I assume college refs are not subject to the same scrutiny as all other FIFA referees?

    If they were, what would/could be the recourse?

    Ah, the purgatory of USA college soccer.

  2. Of course they are - NCAA Division I referees are evaluated, reviewed & supervised - which is exactly why the silence on this topic mystifies me.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Thanks G - I always love getting informed feedback here, especially from referees.

    The shame of this is what's happened to Lambert - she's been completely hung out to dry. It isn't like she's earning the millions of dollars that a professional athlete earns as well. This isn't to excuse the behavior, but rather to question whence this bloodlust demanding her public sacrifice comes - and why the athletic departments & NCAA have failed so utterly to put this in perspective.

  5. ????

    What's happening to Lambert is what should happen to any athlete that takes competition to the level of endangering her sister players. She should be suspended for the season.

    Her coach should be fired. Her AD should be censured. Clearly the staff at NM is not in control of their players.

    And the referee should never work another game.

    There's no good guys here. Everyone involved is a byword and a hissing. What's happening isn't unfair to Lambert. It IS unfair to every decent, honorable player, coach, AD and referee that ever stepped on a pitch.

  6. I ran across this while Twittering and thought you would have a hey-day performing a critical dissection of it: it's self-congratulatory, uses "democracy" in a rather shocking way, appropriates the Civil Rights and Women's movements, and paints a shiny veneer for apple-pie (orange wedge) middle class Americana. Oh and it also throws a jab at this BYU/New Mexico "women's game." Lol! Here is the link:

  7. Hey there,
    I don't know if you'll see a comment way back here on an old post, but I don't see anywhere to email you. I found your blog during the WWC, and I love it. I love soccer - have played for 21 years, currently coach, and refereed for about 10 years. I loved reffing to help the game, but I was a very rare female ref with experience. Eventually, the "Old Boys Club" became too much for me to handle. I had to quit. One of the things that drove me bonkers was that the "Official" uniform was only made for men. I HATED them...they would hang off of me like a tent. One or two no-name brands made womens' shirts, but they didn't have the Official Badge that seemed requisite to be a "good" referee.

    Anyway - an idea for an article (post?) might be how it was both good to see women reffing the WWC and also how it is miserable to be a female ref in the U.S. Needs some development, but I think it is another place where gender roles are constantly reinforced. Female youth players RARELY see a female is always the authoritarian male in the center during high-level (High School and College) games. And the women that do seem to "make it" have certain masculine qualities that make me wonder if confidence and capability in a referee context have become synonymous with masculine.

    Enough ranting...just some ideas. Hope you see them back here!



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