The Alaska School Activities Association will not decertify the official who disqualified a female Dimond High School swimmer for wearing a suit that showed too much of her buttocks.
But it appears the official, Eagle River’s Jill Blackstone, won’t be able to referee any swim meets for the rest of this season.
The Anchorage School District requested the decertification, which would strip the official of her ability to referee swim meets in the Anchorage area.
The district will bar the official from participating in any more district-sponsored swim meets as long as existing uniform rules remain in place, a spokesman said Wednesday. The district is responsible for providing officials for three district-level meets Friday as well as regional competition at the end of the month, officials say.
Blackstone — who ASAA didn’t name in its statement — won’t work the state swim meet either, according to Billy Strickland, Alaska School Activities Association executive director.
“I want the attention to be on the students and their achievements,” Strickland said. “I’m not going to put her in a position of doing it. And I don’t even know if she’d do it if asked.”
Blackstone released a brief statement Wednesday praising ASAA’s decision.
“I am thankful the Alaska State Activities Association rejected the Anchorage School District’s request for my decertification as unwarranted under the circumstances and rules in place at the time of the disqualification,” she wrote in an email to the Chugiak-Eagle River Star.
The controversy made national headlines amid accusations of body-shaming from some in the Anchorage swim community. The Dimond swimmer involved, senior Breckynn Willis, appeared on “The Kelly Clarkson Show” last Friday. Willis and her younger sister are among the state’s best swimmers.
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