Miscommunication causes delay in payment for IMG Academy football tournament officials

Better Call Behnken

Officials were hired by organizers from Gulf Coast Officials Association and told they'd receive payment with 10 days

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – William Walker has worked as a sports official for 20 years and says games at the prestigious IMG Academy in Bradenton are always exciting.

“It’s the best of the best,” Walker said. “I’ve seen great players there.”

So he says when he received a frantic call from Gulf Coast Officials Association last month with a last-minute job at a football tournament at IMG, he jumped at the chance.

“I was promised $300 per day and if you stay both days it’s $600, which is decent money if you’ve got a bill to pay here or there.”

An email sent to the 30 officials that attended the weekend tournament explained that IMG didn’t pay in advance but would pay within 10 days. Now, it’s been 39 days, and Walker and the rest of the officials are tired of waiting.

“We go above and beyond on that particular day to make sure everything goes smoothly,” Walker said. “And we expect to get paid smoothly.”

He knew he’d Better Call Behnken. I called Gulf Coast IMG and even drove to the front gate to make my presence known. Hours later, a spokeswoman called me back to say there was some miscommunication and they paid Gulf Coast today. Officials should have their money very soon.

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