A pair of San Antonio high school football players who hit a defenseless referee from behind are facing potential litigation this week after the injured referee said he is considering pressing charges against the players. Both of the students, who play for the John Jay High School varsity team, were ejected from the game and have subsequently been suspended from the team on an indefinite basis while the investigation is ongoing.
The video shows the two players, lining up on defense, in the backfield. As the ball is snapped, the one player makes a direct line into the referee, shouldering him hard to the ground. The second player, coming from the opposite side of the filed, then slams the downed ref with a helmet-first tackle into his ribs.
Footage from the incident, which has since gone viral, has sparked outcry over the “revenge” actions of the two players. The opposing team the Jays were playing, Marble Falls, was leading and driving. The Jays had stopped them on third down, and would potentially be able to get the ball back.
Reports The Associated Press: “Marble Falls was trying to run out the clock and called for a handoff toward the left side of the line of scrimmage. The penalties resulting from the incident gave Marble Falls a first down. John Jay lost 15-9.”
Previous to the play that resulted in the referee being attacked, two other John Jay players were ejected from the game for arguing dubious calls made by the referee against the team.
The referee, whose name not released, was “very upset,” said Austin Football Officials Association secretary Wayne Elliott, adding that the referee may press charges. While both players were suspended from the team, it also appears their football career may be permanently over.
“The first thing we want is that those two kids never play football again,” said Elliott.
According to Fox Sports, Mike Pereira , the former Vice President of Officiating for the National Football League, said the incident was “the most despicable act I’ve ever seen on a football field,” and agreed that the referee should seek legal action – and even called for the entire team’s season to be forfeited.
“The school district is investigating. So is the athletics’ association. And they have suspended the two players involved. That’s not enough,” Pereira said. “Criminal charges need to come, without question…The whole team, to me, should be suspended. End of the season for Jay High School.”
Said Marble Falls coach Matt Green: “I’ve coached 14 years and I’ve never seen anything like it.”
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What do you think should happen to these two San Antonio players who targeted the referee?