Has high-school football lost its damn mind? Mere weeks after two separate incidents of players targeting unsuspecting referees in Texas, video has surfaced of a similar incident occurring in Glencliff High School in Tennessee.
That’s Glencliff linebacker (and the head coach’s son) Malcolm Easley hitting umpire Kyle Gill in the back during a play. Gill has gone on record with the Gallatin News to claim the hit was “malicious,” and in response to a warning Gill issued on the previous play:
“I had spoken to the player on the play before and he told me that I was in his way,” Gill said. “I asked him how long he’d been playing football and he had to realize that the referees are part of the field. I told him that he should have to avoid me and not the other way around. On the very next play, you saw what happened.”
Here’s the play just before the hit, where you can see Easley put his hands on Gill’s back. The video cuts off before any supposed conversation, however.
Easley has been suspended indefinitely by the Metro District Athletic Committee for the incident, but, strangely, the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association, a higher governing body, has declined to punish Easley any further, and their statement contradicts Gill’s claims and the MDAC’s decision:
Assistant Executive Director of the TSSAA, Matthew Gillespie, said, “We have reviewed the tape several times and based on what we reviewed there was no intent to target the official.
“The player was running in the direction of the ball carrier and hit the official.
“No information we received before or after the play would give us any indication that this was malicious intent.”
The MDAC’s suspension reportedly still stands, but there’s a bit of a he-said, he-said between Glencliff High School and the TSSAA, which you can go read over at the Gallatin News if the intricacies of discipline in high school athletics appeal to you.
(Via The Big Lead)