The targeted ref – identified as 14-year veteran Robert Watts – was a fill-in for Friday night’s game involving players from John Jay High School, said Michael Fitch, executive director of the Texas Association of Sports Officials.
The two Jay High football players accused of intentionally ramming into the referee have been suspended and the assistant coach is now on paid leave while NISD investigates the allegations.
Anyone who has seen the video of a high school football referee getting blindsided by two players had to wonder: Why did they do it? The policeman also said that the likely charge would be misdemeanor assault but that this isn’t “chiseled into stone”.
The prosecuting attorney is receptive to filing charges if the investigation bears that out, said Marble Falls Police spokesman Sergeant Tom Dillard.
The play occurred with time winding down in the fourth quarter and Marble Falls High School attempting to run out the clock. Both players were immediately ejected from the game and later suspended indefinitely from the team and from school, pending an investigation by the Northside Independent School District. The players allege the referee used racial slurs toward them. Two players were removed from the game, but one of them wasn’t even involved in the infamous play. Another player then dives on top of him.
As the safety breaks forward, another defensive back begins running at the official, driving his helmet into the referee’s back. “It is not the good sportsmanlike behavior that we teach students”, Gonzalez said. The head of officiating in Texas said they, too, are investigating reports of racial slurs by that ref.
Brian Woods described the incident as “shameful” and said the students now face disciplinary hearings, which could result in any number of various penalties, including possible expulsion from the district.
The University Interscholastic League, the governing body for athletic competition for Texas public schools, will review the allegations Wednesday morning.