Texas high school football coach suspended, put on probation
The University Interscholastic League has handed down its punishment to a former coach accused of telling his players to attack an umpire at a September football game.
Former Assistant Coach Mack Breed was at today's hearing to plead his case. The committee says the fact that he showed up saved him from harsher punishment.
A remorseful Mack Breed pleaded his case in front of the governing body of Texas schools, the UIL.
"My dad's been coaching a long time, and he knows how intense I am, he knows my style of coaching. He's always told me I don't need to be that way. He never coached me that way and I don't need to be that way. I hate I didn't take his advice, and that's what brought me to this situation today because I didn't listen," Breed said.
That testimony is what gave the former John Jay High School assistant coach a lesser punishment. Breed is suspended from all extracurricular activities for the rest of the 2015-2016 school year. Attached to that, he has a public reprimand and two years of probation.
"He obviously made some mistakes, but we got a chance to see him personally and my guess is that it altered the consequences a little bit because we actually got a chance to meet the man," Mike Motheral, UIL Chairman, said.
Breed says two of his players accused the umpire, Robert Watts, of making racial slurs. Breed says his frustration got to him, but his players may have taken his statement literally.
"I never told any players on the John Jay football team to hit, destroy, or do bodily harm to anyone," Breed said.
Umpire Robert Watts came to the hearing, to clear his name, and denied making any slurs.
"It's unfortunate for the sport that I've been involved in since 1995, as a player and as an official for 14 years. It's unfortunate and saddens me," Watts said.
The committee gave head coach Gary Gutierrez public reprimand and two years of probation. Breed appeared to be sorry for his actions, and pleaded to the committee for a second chance, which they did give him.
"I know what I need to do, I know how I need to instruct kids to get where they need to go and I want to keep doing that," Breed said.
As for the players, the sophomore is suspended indefinitely from extracurricular activities, the senior, for the remainder of the year. As for umpire Robert Watts, The Texas Association of Sports Officials will hand over their investigation to the UIL sports officials committee. They will decide whether or not he will be punished for the alleged racial slurs, which he denies.