Evan Barr, a pole vaulter for Loyola High School in Los Angeles, was understandably angry at himself for missing on his final attempt during the California Interscholastic Federation State Track & Field Championships over the weekend. But his effort was still good enough for third place, which gave the Cubs enough points to win the event. Then, Barr opened his mouth.
"He uttered a profanity out of frustration, and the officials thought it was significant to disqualify him," coach Mike Porterfield told the Los Angeles Times. "He apologized immediately after he said it." Long Beach Polytechnic High School was named winner of the event, by three points.
According to NBC Sports, Barr used the f-word, and state rules interpreter Hal Harkness deemed that unacceptable. "You can't be profane in a competitive area," he told Times reporter Eric Sondheimer. "[Barr] made an unfortunate lapse in judgment."
Blogger Steve DelVecchio, writing on the Larry Brown Sports website, put Harkness' decision in perspective: "The circumstances are obviously different from collegiate or professional athletics, given that it happened at a high school event, but this still seems a bit harsh. Barr wasn't cursing at an official or an opponent. He was simply frustrated that he screwed up. On the other hand, you can't make exceptions to the rules based on circumstances - especially when dealing with high schoolers. One thing's for sure: Evan Barr will probably behave like he's in church during athletic competition from here on in."