Officials continue to react after suspending two high school football players accused of intentionally tackling a referee during a game and then piling on top of him.
The incident was captured on video last Friday. The video shows one player from John Jay, Victor Rojas who was wearing a number 12 jersey, charging toward the back of the referee, identified as Robert Watts, and knocking him to the ground. Moments later the video shows,number 81 Michael Moreno falling on top of him.
The John Jay coach apologized after the game, saying it was unlike anything he’d seen in 14 years.
On Tuesday, schools superintendent Dr. Brian T. Woods released the following statement:
“All of us are heartbroken over the situation that occurred at the game Friday night between John Jay and Marble Falls. The incident is shameful and in no way reflects who Northside ISD and Jay High School are. There are almost 3,000 students who attend Jay HS, a school that has a long rich history which is well earned. In addition, there are over 14,000 students who participate in Athletics in Northside. In all of our extracurricular programs we hold students to a standard that is higher than the general student body. NISD has formal processes that will be followed according to our policy. The process includes taking written statements from the students involved, the coaches, as well as the game officials. That process began over the weekend and continues today. It is important that emotions stay out of the process and that we act on facts.”
Woods said there were no plans to cancel the football season at Jay HS.
“It simply is not fair to the 200 students in the program to pay for the actions of two,” he said.
In a statement released Tuesday, schools spokesman Pascual Gonzalez detailed actions that were planned:
Disciplinary consequences for the two players involved
- The students will be taken to a disciplinary hearing.The incident will be treated as an assault on a school official.
- Assault consequences range from placement at the discipline alternative setting up to expulsion from NISD and assigned to the Juvenile Justice school that is run by Bexar County.
- NISD is not releasing the names as they are minors per federal privacy laws.
- During the game, the players were feeling lots of frustration by what they perceived to be missed or wrong calls by the refs.
- The players also allege that racial slurs were directed at them by the umpire. The students allege that an assistant coach said “that guy needs to pay for cheating us” or words to that effect.
Assistant coach placed on leave
- Assistant Coach Mack Breed, age 29, has been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation, as standard protocol. Breed was hired in 2010.
- His alleged suggestion to the students was inappropriate and could have led to the incident.
- There are 11 coaches for this sport at Jay HS.Head football coach Gary Gutierrez was not aware of the alleged conversation between Breed and the students.
Official complaint to be filed with officials’ association
- Northside ISD is in the process of filing an official complaint to the officials’ association about the racial slur allegation. Comment will be from them - the Texas Association of Sports Officials.
- We can confirm that the umpire ejected a player that was not involved in the assault.
- We are cooperating with the officials’ association and the University Interscholastic League in this investigation.
Watch the video HERE.
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