PULASKI -- Mike McCarthy, the former coach of the Green Bay Packers, has been accused of confronting and berating referees after a loss by his stepson's high school basketball team.
Officials with the Pulaski School District said McCarthy followed the officials as they left a game Tuesday, Feb. 26. Pulaski High School defeated Notre Dame Academy by a point, ending Notre Dame's season. What ensued was described as a "verbal tirade."
"Some things were said. Some language was used that we don't want in our gym -- unsportsmanlike language," said Janel Batten, Pulaski athletic director.
Notre Dame officials said Thursday one of its administrators received a call of apology from the parent involved, but declined to say it was McCarthy.
WLUK-TV reported the referees filed a complaint with the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association, the state's high school sports regulatory body.
The sports agency representing McCarthy did not immediately return a request for comment. McCarthy was fired in December, his 13th season with the Packers.
A national organization called foul on McCarthy.
"How has it come to this? That's my takeaway," said Barry Mano, president of the National Association of Sports Officials, headquartered in Racine. "We don't get paid a lot of money. We love what we do. We are trying to help. We're standing there, taking this abuse."
Mano said the behavior would have been unacceptable during an NFL game, but sadly, it's becoming all too common at the high school level, and it's necessitated a need for security.
"Many officials, even at the high school level, find themselves very quickly exiting the floor. They are doing it because they are concerned about their well-being," said Mano.
Mano said he hoped McCarthy and others would learn from this moment, and respect the refs.
"I think he needs to make a specific apology to the men and women who officiate sports," said Mano.
As of Thursday, McCarthy had not spoken publicly about the incident.