A Pennsylvania high school basketball coach was placed on leave and could face harsher punishment after hitting an official during a heated moment of a game.
Head coach Jerry Devine of Neshaminy High School rushed onto the court during the final minute of his team’s game against Pennsbury High School to argue a foul call, and wound up delivering a hit on an official that was powerful enough to knock him off his feet.
Video of the incident appears to show Devine head-butting the ref.
Chris Ermer, a broadcaster for a station that streamed the game told ESPN “The coach went crazy.”
“I think he intended to get in the guy’s chest,” Ermer said. “But as he did it, he was off balance and went down. You can’t say he didn’t intend to make contact, but I don’t think he was trying to headbutt the ref.”
The official was able to recover and finish the game, and Devine was ejected.
A statement released by the high school early this morning said that the district is reviewing the incident.
“Mr. Devine has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of that review for both his teaching and coaching positions,” the statement said. “The athletic program at Neshaminy places the values of fair play and sportsmanlike conduct above all. We expect our coaches and staff to teach and uphold those principles, while acting in a professional manner at all times."