A Texas high school sports league meted out a powder-puff punishment to a coach who, according to two student-athletes, ordered players to clobber a referee.
The University Interscholastic League suspended former John Jay High School assistant Mack Breed for one year over the incident. Breed denies ordering the players to hit the official. But the former coach at the San Antonio high school concedes he used profanity on the sideline prior to the hit and said aloud that the ref should “pay the price.”
“I feel like you can coach again in Texas,” James Colbert, a member of the UIL panel, told the suspended coach. “I feel like you are being honest.
Breed had already resigned before receiving punishment on Thursday. The panel ruled probation for the team’s head coach.
The two players involved received no such leniency. Senior Michael Moreno’s one-year suspension effectively ends his high school sports career. Sophomore Victor Rojas can petition the board in a year to resume school-sanctioned athletic activities.
In addition to the allegations against the coach, the players charge that the victim in the case used racial slurs during the game, which, combined with calls he made that didn’t go John Jay’s way, inspired the team to target him. The referee steadfastly denies using any racial insults.
The incident occurred on September 4. The video of two John Jay defensive backs blindsiding the referee on a play late in the fourth quarter went viral, bringing national attention on the football program of the San Antonio high school.