LAS CRUCES (AP) - An umpire accused of trying to ban New Mexico high school baseball players from speaking Spanish during a game has resigned, the governing body of the state's high school sports has announced.
The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.ly/Z26IpS ) that the New Mexico Activities Association informed Gadsden Independent School District officials that umpire Corey Jones resigned last week and will no longer umpire school games.
The resignation came after district officials filed a complaint with NMAA accusing Jones of telling a first baseman not to speak Spanish during a game in Alamogordo. Gadsden High assistant coach Emmanuel Burciaga said that when he questioned Jones about the issue between innings, the umpire allegedly said, "Anyone who speaks Spanish - coaches or players - will be ejected."
A bilingual home plate later umpire intervened and told Jones there was no rule barring Spanish. No one was tossed from the game.
Gadsden eventually lost to Alamogordo, 10-0.
Jones told the Albuquerque Journal that Gadsden High School's account of the conflict was "nothing but lies." He declined to comment further.
Despite Jones' resignation, the NMAA is continuing to investigate the dispute to establish a record of what happened, said Dusty Young, associate director of the NMAA in Albuquerque.
Burciaga declined Tuesday to comment on Jones' resignation from umpiring duties on the advice of district officials. Last week, however, Burciaga said his goal in filing the complaint was not to get Jones fired but "to educate the person."
A statement released on behalf of the Gasden school district also struck a conciliatory tone.
"It was not the intent of the District to seek any disciplinary action regarding this official because his actions in no way reflect on the quality of officiating in Alamogordo. The fact that no action was taken during the game as a result of the first base umpire comments is attributable to the sportsmanship of the baseball coach and the entire Gadsden High varsity baseball team," it said.
"The District looks forward to continuing (a) great athletic relationship with Alamogordo schools and all those who officiate."
Several related conflicts involving officials who, incorrectly, directed youth athletes to stop speaking Spanish have been reported across the country in recent years. In December, two referees officiating a youth soccer match in Cooper City, Fla., ejected one team's coach for giving instructions to Hispanic players in Spanish. In 2005, an umpire in Massachusetts was temporarily barred from officiating after he ordered a Little League team playing in a tournament to stop speaking Spanish.
However, NMAA's Young said the Alamogordo conflict was the only such case in New Mexico, an officially bilingual state, in at least eight years.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Bad news continues to surface at an Alamogordo mobile home park already plagued with problems.
A winter storm warning has been issued for Albuquerque and surrounding areas through 11 p.m. Thursday.
Dean Staley and Mark Ronchetti with your evening headlines and forecast.
Police responded to a northeast Albuquerque neighborhood where a man believed to be armed was involved in a tense standoff with police.
There was some good news Wednesday. Bernalillo County Sheriff's Deputy Robin Hopkins has started walking again.
Schemers behind fake sweepstakes are accessing personal information and using the legitimacy of well-known names like the Better Business Bureau and the Internal Revenue Service to swindle unsuspecting players out of thousands of dollars.