Texas football players suspended after tackling referee; district investigating
Update, Sept. 7
A San Antonio school district has suspended two football players from the team and from school after one of them ran into the back of a referee watching a play and the other dove into the official.
The district's athletic director Stan Laing told The Associated Press Monday that the students were suspended indefinitely pending the outcome of an investigation and due process hearing.
Video showed the referee watching the play, and his head snapping back when he is leveled from behind. The other player then dove on top of him. The team from John Jay High School in San Antonio was playing Marble Falls High School in Marble Falls, located about 90 miles north of San Antonio.
The names of the players and the referee have not been released.
MARBLE FALLS, TEXAS >> A San Antonio School district is investigating after a football player ran into the back of a referee watching a play and another player then dove into the official after he fell. Both players were ejected from the game.
Pascual Gonzalez, a spokesman for the Northside Independent School District, told The Associated Press that video of the incident was "extremely disturbing." Gonzalez said the district is investigating and will hold a due process hearing with interviews with game officials, coaches and students.
"It is not the good sportsmanlike behavior that we teach students," he said.
The team from John Jay High School in San Antonio was playing Marble Falls High School in Marble Falls, about 90 miles north of San Antonio.
Before the referee was hit, two Jay players had been ejected on separate plays.
The incident occurred with approximately a minute left in Friday's game, according to Marble Falls coach Matt Green.
Marble Falls was trying to run out the clock and called for a handoff toward the left side of the line of scrimmage, according to the San Antonio Express-News.
The penalties stemming from the incident gave Marble Falls a first down. John Jay lost 15-9.
Marble Falls coach Matt Green said John Jay coach Gary Gutierrez apologized after the game.
"I've coached 14 years and I've never seen anything like it," Green said.
Video showed the referee watching the play, and his head snapping back when he is leveled from behind. The other player then dove on top of him.
The referee was "very upset" and "wanting to press charges," Austin Football Officials Association secretary Wayne Elliott told the AP.
Elliott said he was seeking guidance from the state officials association, adding, "the first thing we want is that those two kids never play football again."
He declined to release the referee's name.
The University Interscholastic League, which governs Texas high schools sports, is working with the school district and officials on the investigation, according to spokeswoman Kate Hector.
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