Jim Roberson has slammed a new rule that has stopped him from coaching Portsmouth Dreadnoughts.
The highly-respected New Yorker, with more than 35 years of coaching experience both in the USA and in Britain, has been ordered to take the most basic level one coaching qualification by officials at the British American Football Association.
And the former University of Rhode Island scholar has understandably told them where to go.
Roberson said: ‘I’ve been coaching here for quite a while and the people who have taken over at the British American Football Association want everyone to do a level one course. These are people I have taught to play when they were kids.
‘I have refused but I’ve told them I would be fine with someone coming down to watch me coach to certify me.
‘I’ve been coaching for so long I have been here coaching longer than they have been in their positions. They weren’t even playing football when I first got here.
‘Much as I respect them wanting to get everything in line, I’m sorry but there is not a guy in this country who has the experience I have.
‘I just feel it’s a bit of a slap in the face – and I’m not going to let them slap me.
‘I’d like to see it resolved but we’ll see what happens.’
The loss of Roberson is a significant one, especially as the Dreadnoughts were destroyed 108-7 by Bristol Apache at the weekend.
Roberson already knew it would take time to get a brand new team competitive in their first season.
But he felt they were making progress until the coaching rule was enforced.
He said: ‘I’m just going to be stubborn on this one.
‘They are standing firm and so am I. Maybe I am being a stubborn donkey about it but I’ve put in a lot of work over the years.
‘I haven’t played in the NFL but I have played in front of crowds of 40,000.
‘All of that experience must be worth something.
‘Experienced coaches should not have to do the most basic qualification and someone should be able to assess me.’
– STEVE WILSON