Two San Antonio players recently hit a referee during a game, and now the referee is seriously considering pressing charges against the high school football players.
According to a report by ESPN, two defensive backs from John Jay High School have been suspended and could likely face charges after they intentionally targeted referee Robert Watts as he stood behind the defensive line.
ESPN reports, “Video shows the referee, who was watching the play from behind the defensive line, getting leveled from behind by a first player, causing the referee’s head to snap back. The other player then is seen lowering his helmet and piling into the referee after he had fallen down.”
Both of the players were immediately ejected from the game, a 15-9 loss to Marble Falls, and were suspended indefinitely from the team and the school while the Northside Independent School District investigates their actions.
Austin Football Officials Association secretary Wayne Elliott said Watts was “very upset” over what had happened, and the referee was “wanting to press charges” against the boys.
“The first thing we want is that those two kids never play football again,” Elliot said.
Northside Independent School District athletic director Stan Laing described the actions of the players as “disturbing” and “inexcusable.”
NFL Referees Association executive director Jim Quirk released a statement on Monday, regarding the player’s attack.
“These types of actions against any game official at any level are inexcusable,” the statement read. “We fully support the suspensions of the players involved, along with a full and complete investigation by the Texas University Interscholastic League (UIL).”
The incident can be seen in the video below.
Marble Falls police told Fox News on Tuesday that no arrests had currently been made, but a misdemeanor assault charge could be pursued by Watts.
“I have spoken to a prosecuting attorney and he’s receptive to the idea of charges, subject to the findings of the investigation,” Sgt. Tom Dillard said. “The investigation is very preliminary right now.”
Watts, a veteran member of the Austin chapter of the Texas Association of Sports Officials, spoke briefly with TexasHSFootball.com about the incident.
“I like to keep my officiating quiet; unfortunately this will be big news,” Watts said. “Libel and slander have already been committed against me. I will be contacting the appropriate people soon and any statement from me will come at a later date.”
Do you think charges should be pressed against the players who hit the referee? Leave your comments below.
[Photo via Shutterstock]