MARBLE FALLS, Tx - To call it an "unsportsmanlike" hit would be an understatement. Two John Jay high school football players hit a referee, one slamming him to the ground, the other pouncing on top of him.
It’s getting a lot of attention, with millions of views on “you tube,” and counting.
Sports analysts are unanimous in their disgust over the hit on an official. Charlie Campbell, of Worldfootball.com said, “That's just a real tragedy for everyone involved and these kids need to be sent a message that that kind of behavior is unacceptable.”
Patrick Creighton, from “Nate and Crate” on Sports Radio 610, says it’s an assault just like any that happen on the street.
“No one told them to do this. These two guys got together and said we're gonna knock that “bleep” umpire down.”
Nate Griffin, his Co-Host and a Fox 26 sports analyst said he has never seen anything like it.
“It’s really embarrassing for the school, for the guys, embarrassing for high school football. The last thing you want to see is something like this happen to a referee, you're seeing a down-turn of people now who want to become referees, because of that.”
Former Texans guard Fred Weary, now a coach, emphasizes conduct along with the fundamentals.
Discipline is an important part of the game, he says, “I coach kids from junior high to the high school level, and that's one of the things I’m trying to do, is instill discipline back in the program.”
Creighton asked Weary, “If that happens on your team, are those kids still on it? Without hesitation, Weary answered: “No.”
23 states have laws that outline specific penalties for assaulting referees or umpires. In Texas, any assault against a sports official is considered a class c misdemeanor, which means at most a $500 fine, with no jail time. The hit is being investigated by police in Marble Falls, where it occurred.
The players are suspended from their school and their team, pending the school district’s own investigation.