A youth basketball league called a foul on Frederick County Commissioners President Blaine Young after a recent game.
The Linganore, Oakdale, Urbana Youth Athletic Association suspended Young and a referee for one game each after the county official and the teenager got into a verbal confrontation.
“Some inappropriate language was used by both parties,” Young said when contacted Tuesday by The Frederick News-Post. “Things got a little heated, but nothing major, in my opinion.”
Young, who coaches his son's team, the Heat, declined to say what was uttered between the two.
“It's nothing that we haven't seen and nothing that we don't deal with,” said Dave Sowers, commissioner of the league's basketball program. “There were some things that were said that shouldn't have been said. From both parties, by the way.”
Young said he spoke with the referee privately after the game about calls that weren't made against the opposing team.
“It wasn't in front of anyone,” he said. “If it wasn't me, I wouldn't have been suspended.”
Suspensions are not normal, according to Sowers. Involved in the league 20 years, Sowers said it happens once or twice a season for various conduct.
“I've had a lot worse situations,” Sowers said. “In this case, both parties were contrite and want to continue what they're doing. They are both good at what they're doing.”
Young said the referee initiated the confrontation.
“I felt my kids were being at risk in terms of the way the game was being called and the way they were being fouled,” Young said. “I was not happy that they were not calling the intensity of the roughness that was happening.”
Young said he took offense at what the referee said to him, and that's when he traded barbs.
“I'm old school, and when someone disrespects me, I let my feelings be known,” Young said. “I wrote it off as a youthful indiscretion from someone who needed to grow up and learn some manners.”
Young said he later talked about it with his players and turned it into a learning experience for them.
“As far as I'm concerned, it's resolved,” Young said. “They've never had a single problem from me in any way, shape or form.”
The referee was not identified by Young or Sowers. He now referees for a different age group, they said.
Young's team of fifth- and sixth-graders is undefeated this year, according to the league's website. The Heat is also the defending champion in that age bracket. Young has coached two years in the division.
According to an online profile, Young played basketball at both Gov. Thomas Johnson High School and Frederick Community College.
The youth association is composed of all volunteers and is a nonprofit organization that serves 3,000 families.
The league has about 25 referees, according to Sowers.