In early May 2007, Oregon Youth Soccer Association
Director of Programs Noeleen Conway was asked to make a difficult decision
about a game being played by boys under the age of 14.
According to a suit filed this week in Multnomah County Circuit Court, that decision cost her her job
The Oregon State Cup's final game in the U-14 division was scheduled for May 5, pitting the Portland area's Southside Soccer Club against the Salem Helix. Southside's leading scorer had received a red card
in the team's semi-final win, which under normal circumstances would eliminate him from competition for the team's next game—in this case, the state championship
These were not normal circumstances.
The referee for the semi-final game had neglected to report the red card to the OYSA, and after much debate on both sides about the player's eligibility, the ultimate decision was given to Conway.
She ruled that since the penalty had not been reported, the player would be eligible
for the final game.
The decision set off a firestorm of controversy. Southside won the game 1-0 on a goal scored by the player whose eligibility was in question, and after much hell was raised
the OYSA formed a special committee to investigate.
The committee concluded the game should be replayed. After two more rounds of appeals--neither of which involved Conway--the committee's decision stood, and the game was replayed, this time with the Helix winning
and earning a trip to the regional tournament in Las Vegas.
Then on June 29, Noeleen Conway says she was handed a letter from Charles Keers, Executive Director of the OYSA. She alleges she had been fired
, specifically for her handling of the disputed game.
On Tuesday, Conway filed suit against the OYSA and Keers for wrongful termination. She is seeking $325,000 in economic damages, including lost wages and benefits, and another $500,000 for non-economic damages.
Charles Keers didn't return a message on Wednesday seeking comment.
Read about more Juicy Suits here.