A Pennsylvania high school basketball coach is in jeopardy of losing his job after being involved in an altercation with a referee during a game in Bucks County on Tuesday, according to PennLive.com
Neshaminy High School boys basketball coach Jerry DeVine was arguing an offensive foul call with less than a minute left in the game against Pennsbury High when he was hit with a technical. He then made contact with the referee and was ejected. Pennsbury went on to win 49-42.
The incident was caught on video by a spectator and has made its way onto YouTube. The video appears to show the referee issuing a technical foul to Devine as he was arguing a call against one of his players. Devine then makes contact with the official as he falls backward.
ESPN reported that the Neshaminy School District, which is located in Middletown, released a statement early this morning.
“The administration at Neshaminy School District is conducting a thorough review of an incident at the varsity basketball game Tuesday evening (January 5, 2016) involving coach Jerry Devine and a referee. Appropriate action was taken at the game following that incident, and further measures may follow depending on the outcome of that review. As this is a personnel matter, we will not be able to comment on the specifics of any possible disciplinary action until that review process is complete.
“Mr. Devine has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of that review for both his teaching and coaching positions. The athletic program at Neshaminy places the values of fair play and sportsmanlike conduct above all. We expect our coaches and staff to teach and uphold those principles, while acting in a professional manner at all times.”
Chief Joe Bartorilla of the Middletown Township Police Department told NBC10 that his department will also investigate the incident.
The incident happened with less than 30 seconds remaining in the game when Neshaminy’s Chris Arcidiacono — the brother of Villanova point guard Ryan Arcidiacono — was called for a charging foul on a layup that would have cut Pennsbury’s lead to three points. The referee called a technical foul on Devine just before the headbutt that sent the official to the floor.
Pennsbury’s Addison Howard sank three of the four technical foul free throws as a result of the double-technical issued to Devine.
There is disagreement over whether Devine actually head-butted the referee. Chris Ermer, the game’s color commentator, told City of Basketball Love that from his vantage point, it looked like Devine’s chest or belly bumped the ref, and it caught him off guard. Ermer added that Devine, with the sweeping of his hand, thought the referee flopped.
The referee, whose name hasn’t been released, was able to finish the game. Spectator and Neshaminy senior Fred Polis told Levittown Now that the Neshaminy student section made harsh comments to the referee and insulted him about his appearance frequently.
Neshaminy’s loss to Pennsbury dropped the Redskins record to 1-7 on the season. Neshaminy travels to Pennridge (4-3) tonight.
Devine has been the head boys basketball coach at Neshaminy High School for 10 years, according to the school’s website. He also has been a special education teacher in the district for 15 years and has 18 years overall in the Pennsylvania public school system. He spent one year at Bristol Boro School and two years in the Philadelphia school system.
Devine is married, to his wife of seven years Laura, and has four young daughters.
It is unfortunate for all parties involved that this incident happened but this type of stuff goes on a lot at scholastic and youth sporting events. The PIAA and Pennsylvania school districts must be more proactive in preventing this from ever happening again at a sporting event.
Here are highlights of current Villanova senior point guard Ryan Arcidiano, who played for Devine when he was at Neshaminy. Arcidiano recently helped the 16th-ranked Wildcats defeat sixth-ranked Xavier.
[Image via Facebook]