The problem of protecting sports officials and an allegation of a racist epithet were involved when a former UW-Rock County basketball coach was sentenced in Waukesha County Court on Wednesday.
Jamal M. Mosley, 42, of Madison originally was charged with misdemeanor battery and disorderly conduct in the Jan. 3, 2018, incident in which he and his adult son confronted a referee after a game at UW-Waukesha.
Mosley pleaded no contest to attempted battery in February. Assistant District Attorney Shawn Woller said Wednesday that it would have been too difficult to prove that Mosley actually hit referee Patrick Anderson, although Mosley threw two punches that missed.
Mosley’s son J’shon N. Mosley did hit Anderson during a “full-on melee,” Woller said.
J’shon pleaded guilty to battery Sept. 13 and was sentenced to a year of probation with 45 of those days in jail and 75 hours of community service.
J’shon was ordered to maintain absolute sobriety, submit to random alcohol and drug screens and complete anger management counseling during probation. If he is successful, he is eligible to have the crime wiped from his record.
In court Wednesday, Woller said the elder Mosley “was supposed to be the role model for the young men he was coaching, and instead was anything but.”
Woller noted a steep decline in the number of officials for high school sports in Wisconsin and quoted the National Association of Sports Officials, saying a major reason officials quit is poor treatment from parents, fans, coaches and players.
Woller said society values sports programs for the values they instill in young people, so it’s important to protect officials.
Anderson spoke, asking for the harshest possible punishment.
Anderson said he has officiated for 33 years, and this incident happened after a game, when a coach is supposed to show sportsmanship by shaking hands with opponents.
“Instead, he’s chasing me off the court, grabbing my arm and demanding respect,” Anderson said.
“My father taught me respect: ‘Respect your elders.’ I know what it is. I think his definition was that I was to fear him, and when he saw that I didn’t, he was enraged,” Anderson said.
Anderson said bruises on his head should be enough to prove Jamal hit him. The criminal complaint also describes a black eye.
Defense attorney Anthony Cotton said Jamal has gotten counseling, has no prior criminal record, has been employed all his adult life and has been supportive of his wife of 15 years as she moved from place to place in the U.S. Navy.
Jamal’s reputation is destroyed, and he has lost his ability to do what he most valued—to coach young people—as well his main source of income, which amounts to “extraordinary punishment,” Cotton said.
Jamal always got rave reviews from his players and parents, Cotton said, arguing that the incident was out of character for him.
Jamal was reacting to what he interpreted as a racial slur from Anderson during the game, Cotton told the court. Cotton acknowledged afterward that the word was “boy,” long recognized as a racial epithet when applied to a black man.
Jamal recently was accepted into a program at UW-Madison to get a degree in African-American studies, and he hopes to become a professor, Cotton said.
“He’s very conscious of racial issues. He has worked very hard to overcome racism in his life,” Cotton said.
Judge Michael Maxwell said Jamal “failed miserably” at doing his job that day, which included being a role model for his players and his son.
But Maxwell acknowledged the many positive things Jamal has done in his life.
Maxwell said he has seen worse examples of attempted battery, and he could not impose the maximum sentence.
“I don’t think you are a bad person. I think that particular day, you made a bad decision,” Maxwell said.
Maxwell ordered one year of probation, to include 30 days in jail with work release, as well as 50 hours of community service and anger management treatment.
Maxwell said he had to send a message to the community, that such treatment of sports officials will not be tolerated.
Maxwell said he believes Jamal has a good character.
“Everybody gets upset sometimes, but it’s how you react to those circumstances that makes all the difference in the world,” Maxwell said, and as a coach, Jamal was held to a higher standard.
Jamal said after the hearing that Anderson used a confrontational tone during the game and refused to give his name, so Jamal followed him after the game to get his name because the score sheets, which include officials’ names, were not available.
Anderson was not available for comment after the hearing.