Another San Antonio High School football player has been suspended for shoving an official. St Anthony's Catholic High School says in a statement that the player has also been kicked off the football team. It happened during the third quarter on Saturday, in San Antonio. St. Anthony's was playing Hyde Park.
"Touching an official is required disqualification," says Randy Christal. He was an official for four decades, more than two of those were spent as a referee for college football, "I barely had a ball game where I had a melee," he says of the games he officiated. None, he says ever involved a player shoving an official.
He says he was "shocked" to hear about the latest incident in San Antonio. It was caught on camera. The player, number 80 was restrained by his team mates.
"Pushing an official is bad and there should be penalties," Christal says.
St. Anthony's Catholic School says the player is a senior. And in statement, they say he's been removed from the the football team. And they say he's also been suspended for three days as an investigation is underway. "The young man in question and his family has fully cooperated with school officials and he has deep regrets for his actions that day," says Dean Ochoa, St. Anthony's Dean of Prepatory programs. He added, "we hold all students accountable for their actions and he understands and accepts any and all consequences that will be appropriate."
"We have a shortage of officials to begin with," says Christal. "And part of the deal is when you sign on to be an official, you aren't going to be contacted, you aren't going to get beat up."
Less than two weeks ago another San Antonio football team was under scrutiny. Two John Jay High School football players appeared to tackle an official during a scuffle. "Somebody needs to shake that bunch up down there realize that authority is authority," Christal says.
The two John Jay students were suspended too. But Christal questions if that's enough. "I do not want to ruin the lives of some 15 or 16 year old kid, but by the same token when they get into the real world, and they do something like this they are going to find themselves in prison or worse."
Christal thinks schools across Texas should send a message by implementing a no tolerance policy. Otherwise, he believes there may be fewer refs on Friday nights, "Go to Plano, go to Westlake, go to Lake Travis and turn on the lights. Have the two teams show up and not have the officials show up, enough said?"
The Texas Association of Private And Parochial Schools (TAPPS) will meet on Wednesday to discuss the incident.