School officials say racial slurs and coach's remarks may have led to referee tackle

We start with a possible motive behind that viral video showing two high school football players blind-siding a referee at a game in Marble Falls on Friday night.

Officials say they are investigating possible racial slurs, and if a coach provoked the incident.
Northside ISD school officials, the district for the John Jay High School players behind the tackle, held a news conference Tuesday.

They say the players were feeling frustrated by what they perceived to be missed or wrong calls by the referees.

School officials say in addition to any frustration with calls, the players alleged the particular referee said a racial slur twice during the game.

Possibly adding fuel to the fire was a statement a John Jay High School assistant coach made to the effect of "that guy needs to pay for cheating us."

The students have been suspended from the team. They must now attend a disciplinary hearing and could be expelled.

The assistant coach is on administrative leave.

"The incident is shameful to us and is deeply troubling to all of us who for many years have been associated with athletics and extracurricular activities in our school district. Our responsibilities as educators are to use this as best we can as a teaching moment for the rest of the students and athletes at John Jay High School as well as at all of our high schools," - Dr. Brian Woods, Northside ISD superintendent.

Northside ISD is in the process of filing a complaint to the Texas Association of Sports Officials regarding the racial slur allegation.

The umpire, who FOX 7 is not identifying, told TexasHSFootball.com, "I like to keep my officiating quiet; unfortunately this will be big news. Libel and slander have already been committed against me. I will be contacting the appropriate people soon and any statement from me will come at a later date."

Marble Falls police are investigating. The working charge right now is misdemeanor assault.

The UIL state executive committee will convene in Round Rock Wednesday to hear a report on the incident. The executive committee has the authority to impose additional sanctions as appropriate.

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