A youth basketball coach was arrested over the weekend after he allegedly knocked an official unconscious.
The Louisville Courier Journal reports that Keyon Menifield was coaching at a tournament held in Paducah, Ky. when the incident unfolded.
A Facebook post by the McCracken (Ky.) County Sherrif’s Office described what happened.
“During the disagreement the referee turned to walk away. As he did, Menifield punched the referee, knocking him unconscious, causing minor injuries.”
Menifield was apprehended in a hotel shortly after the incident, and was charged with assault of a sports official, a Class A misdemeanor. An investigation is ongoing, however, and more severe charges could be forthcoming if they’re warranted, according to the county sheriff.
The Courier Journal reports that the victim was identified as Kenny Culp. Culp’s niece reportedly posted on Facebook that her uncle had been taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and is being treated for a broken collarbone, a crack in his sinus cavity, and a concussion or a brain bruise with bleeding.
Menifield reportedly posted on his own Facebook page after the incident that “buddy called us a name he shouldn’t have but that doesn’t make it right for me to put my hands on him,” and apologized.
Sports officials are often targets for harassment and violence, either from overzealous parents, fans or coaches. That harassment is at least partially to blame for a nationwide shortage in sports officials, which in turn has created problems when it comes to organizing and executing athletic events.