Lee County high school referees end contract with district over pay dispute

Referee talks with players. (Credit: WINK News)
Referee talks with players. (Credit: WINK News)

The president of the organization representing referees in Lee County said they are terminating their contract with the school district after they were denied a pay raise.

The FHSAA said days ago that it has a contingency plan in place for this scenario. The details of which they have yet to release.

WINK News spoke to Lee County officials who said they are working with the FHSAA to find referees to work Kickoff Classic Games a week from Friday. Now, it appears that football games in Lee County are still on. As for the referees, they feel $65 per game, plus travel expenses has led to high turnover.

“The quality of officials continues to be a concern due to our high turnover rates,” said John Mantica, SGFOA president. “Those of us that are left are gone far too many nights due to the shortage of referees, causing serious stress on our families.”

Mantica said it is ’50 50′ that the two sides agree by the end of the season. However, he made it clear that the school district must decide to remedy the dispute.

Sarasota and Naples area officials said they would not referee Lee County games. Nor is anyone willing to move the games out of the county. For now, it looks like what is on the schedule will play out.

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