A group of seven Ohio high school football referees were barricaded inside a locker room following a game at Grove City High School on Sept. 10. According to a police report obtained by WBNS, the Grove City High School principal reported on Sept. 13 that a vending machine was moved between 9:10 p.m. and 9:43 p.m. in front of the girls' locker room -- an empty room that had been assigned to the referees.
The police report also stated that a Grove City High School assistant coach "charged them (the referees) in a very threatening manner," and "was very combative" directly after game ended. The referees said that the assistant coach had to be restrained by other coaches. Following that altercation, the referees migrated to the girls' locker room for their post game review.
On Sept. 17, three of the referees involved informed police that they were barricaded inside of the locker room following the game between Grove City High School and Central Crossing High School. Police have stated that there is no surveillance video of the alleged incident.
A South-Western City School District spokesperson gave the following statement WBNS about the matter:
On behalf of Grove City High School and the South-Western City School District, we sincerely apologize for the locker room incident following the September 10 Grove City HS vs. Central Crossing HS football game. We do not condone this behavior and are extremely disappointed in the actions of those who perpetrated this incident and emphasize that they are not representative of the ideals or standards to which we hold our students, parents, staff, and community.
Grove City High School has apologized to the officials, OCC, and OHSAA for this incident. We have taken corrective steps to ensure that this will not happen again and that everyone will have a safe and positive experience at our athletic contests in the future.
We continue to investigate this incident and have engaged the Grove City Police Department in the investigation to determine who was responsible for this behavior. Conduct of this nature has no place in our school community."
The referees only realized the door was blocked shut when they attempted to leave. They shouted and knocked on the door in hopes of getting help for 20 minutes before taking matters in their own hands and forcing the door open.
No charges have been filed in relation to the incident.