SAN ANTONIO - It’s happened again. Another high school football player has crossed the line and assaulted a referee. For him, his end zone is being kicked off the team.
The referee had just flown a flag to call unsportsmanlike conduct against the player from St. Anthony Catholic High School, when that player walked up to the ref and shoved him. It happened during a game between St. Anthony and Hyde Park Austin. The announcer for KMAC sports couldn’t believe what he was seeing.
“After everything’s that’s gone on in the news and all over, No. 80 just hit the referee and he is going to be escorted out of here right now,” the announcer said. “Holy Toledo, folks.”
Ironically the attack on a referee by two players last week was also a San Antonio School. In that assault,
the players who blindsided and speared the referee were from John Jay High School in the Northside Independent School district.
One week ago what appeared to be an unusual event, is not looking very unusual right now.
“It’s a shame,” said Sports Radio 610’s Sean Pendergast. “You wonder how much of it is coaching. You wonder how much of it is sort of this general feeling of anti-authority that's going on in society right now.”
Criminal assault charges are still a possibility in the John Jay incident, but Pendergast doesn’t think the St. Anthony player's actions were as serious.
“The kid shouldn't play again, but I don’t think any assault charges are called for,” Pendergast said. “H
he just sort of chest bumped him.”
St. Anthony released a statement saying the player was no longer on the team and was being suspended from school for 3 days. The incident will be investigated by the Texas Association of Private and Parochial School (TAPPS).
Meanwhile the University Interscholastic League is still investigating the John Jay incident. Officials there say the penalty for that incident ranges from reprimand, to suspension for up to three years for students, coaches and/or the school.
Maybe it's time for a decision because student athletes haven’t gotten the message that assaulting the referee is inexcusable.
“What they [the John Jay players] did was so calculated and so premeditated, that clearly they didn't think there were going to be major ramifications for it,” Pendergast said.
Northside ISD has reassigned the John Jay players to an alternative high school, but more penalties or sanctions are likely.