There’s one thing every athletic event has in common: people disagreeing with the referee. But, it isn’t so common to see a referee brutally attacked during a game because of a disagreement — especially when the attacker is a high school coach.
One Pennsylvania high school basketball coach was recently caught on a shocking video tape head-butting a referee to the ground during Tuesday night’s game, according to Fox News.
Jerry Devine, a math and history teacher and head coach of Neshaminy High School boys’ basketball team, has now been suspended because of the incident.
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The coach apparently disagreed with a foul call the referee made late in Neshaminy’s matchup against Pennsbury High School. That’s when he stormed over and head-butted him, as can be seen in a seconds-long video of the altercation:
Devine was then ejected from the game while his team trailed Pennsbury by four points. Pennsbury later won the game at 49-42.
The referee was able to finish the game, but this is still unacceptable. A coach should be a leader and a teacher who sets a positive example for the young men he is coaching — especially at the high school level.
Sometimes, a teenage boy’s only guidance comes from his coaches and teachers at school. When a coach physically attacks someone in front of his players, he sends the message to impressionable boys that it is OK to handle your anger or disagreement in that manner.
Instead of violence, coaches should be teaching their young players how to handle adversity with dignity, even when they disagree with someone — especially when that someone is an authority figure.
This coach should have to face assault charges for his actions, just as his players would if they physically attacked someone.
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