PULASKI -- FOX6's sister station WLUK in Green Bay confirmed with Pulaski School District officials that former Green Bay Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy was involved in an incident with referees following his stepson’s basketball game Tuesday night, Feb. 26.
WLUK learned a formal complaint about the incident was submitted to the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association.
Pulaski High School defeated Notre Dame Academy by one point in the regional high school boys basketball game. The loss ended Notre Dame's season.
McCarthy's stepson is a member of the Notre Dame team.
According to WLUK, McCarthy has been a regular face in the stands at Notre Dame Academy's basketball games this season, however, his actions after the tight loss at Pulaski crossed a line, according to those who were there.
“This parent chose to follow the officials and berate them, which is clearly unacceptable,” said Janel Batten, Pulaski’s athletic director.
Through an open records request WLUK submitted to the Pulaski School District, WLUK obtained security footage from moments after the game concluded. There is no audio, but you can see a Pulaski staff member escorting the referees out of the gym, with a man following behind. District officials confirmed the man was McCarthy, WLUK reported.
“Some things were said. Some language was used that we don't want in our gym. Unsportsmanlike language,” said Batten.
WLUK talked with one of the referees who confirmed an "unfortunate situation" happened with McCarthy that the official described as a "verbal tirade."
“Have you ever seen a parent walk after an official like that?” WLUK asked Batten.
“Not here and not in my time as an athletic director,” said Batten, who has been the district’s athletic director for 5 years.
WIAA officials told WLUK an "abuse against contest officials" complaint was filed about an incident at the game. They said those complaints are confidential.
WLUK asked Notre Dame Academy officials for an on-camera interview, but they sent a statement from Athletic Director Steph Mathu instead:
“Notre Dame Academy is founded on the values of faith, respect, responsibility, service, and trustworthiness. The behavior exemplified by the parent at Tuesday night’s game is unacceptable at athletic events and does not reflect our institution as a whole.
Last night, a Notre Dame Academy administrator received a call of apology from the parent involved. We appreciate his outreach and we look forward to moving ahead in a faith-centered and esteemed fashion.
We thank all officials in athletic contests, especially in our conference and state, for the time and commitment they dedicate to our student-athletes."
“Without these great officials, we can't have great sports, right?” said Batten. “So that is important. So we've taken some measures in our conference, specifically at our school. We do things maybe that are a little different. We always escort these people to the court or to our stadium.”
WLUK reached out to the agency that represents McCarthy, as well as Notre Dame, to see if the former coach would be willing to do an interview about the incident. Agency officials said they would forward the request. Notre Dame officials told WLUK they had not reached out to McCarthy.