Eddie Bonine, Executive Director of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association, talks with 101.7 / 710 KEEL's Robert J Wright and Erin McCarty about a letter, recently endorsed by his organization, saying that the increase in crowd violence at prep school games is endangering sports at that level.

Part of the letter states:

"When you attend an athletic event that involves your son or daughter, cheer to your heart’s content, enjoy the camaraderie that high school sports offer and have fun; but when it comes to verbally criticizing game officials or coaches, it’s time for everyone to cool it. “The time has come for everyone involved in the game to 'pump the brakes' as it relates to conduct at games, particularly, the parents who attend."

Bonine tells KEEL listeners that the growing number of out-of-control crowds are leading to a shortage in the number of officials. From a previous KEEL story:

"A recent survey by the National Association of Sports Officials says more than 75 percent of all high school officials say 'adult behavior' is the primary reason they quit. More than 80 percent of all young officials hang up their stripes after just two years of whistle blowing. Why? They don’t want to tolerate abuse.'

"There are more officials over the age of 60 than under 30 in many areas. As more experienced officials retire, there aren’t enough younger ones to replace them. If there are no officials, there are no games. The lack of licensed high school officials is severe enough in some areas that athletic events are being postponed or cancelled—especially at the freshman and junior varsity levels."

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