Home / National News / Texas HS Football Assistant Coach Admits to Telling Players to Hit Referee, Principal Says

 

(SAN ANTONIO) — An assistant coach at John Jay High School in San Antonio, Texas confessed to his principal that he ordered players to go after the referee during a recent football game, according to an ESPN report, citing a signed statement from the principal.

According to the statement, obtained by ESPN’s “Outside the Lines,” the school’s principal, Robert Harris, says coach Mack Breed admitted to him and head Coach Gary Gutierrez that he “directed the students to make the referee pay for his racial comments and calls.”

According to a sideline source and accounts provided to “Outside the Lines,” official Robert Watts used the N-word twice during the game in Marble Falls, Texas, and also used language offensive to Hispanics. Watts, through his attorney, denied using racial remarks to ABC News.

Late in the fourth quarter of the game, senior Michael Moreno, 17, and sophomore Victor Rojas, 15, were captured on video hitting Watts.

The incident was captured on video, drawing national attention with over 11 million views on YouTube.
Moreno and Rojas each attended disciplinary hearings Wednesday, but there was no immediate decision on their punishment.

Harris, who attended the game at Marble Falls, said that he did not see Rojas or Moreno hit Watts.

Harris, who could not immediately be reached for comment by ABC News, wrote in his statement that the head coach called him several times on the way home from the game, informing him that two John Jay players struck an official.

After reaching the school, Harris and Gutierrez met face-to-face.

“[Gutierrez] then informed me that Coach Breed had disclosed to him that he directed the players to take out the referee,” Harris wrote. “[Gutierrez] stated that Coach Breed initially asked him what was going to happen to the players during their ride home from the game. After Coach Gutierrez informed him that the players would be removed from the team, he informed Coach Gutierrez that he directed the players to strike the referee.”

That meeting on Sept. 5, was followed by another meeting in Harris’ office the next day.

“I later met with Coach Breed at John Jay High School … in my office in the presence of Coach Gutierrez,” Harris wrote. “Coach Breed told me that he directed the students to make the referee pay for his racial comments and calls. He wanted to take full responsibility for his actions. Mr. Breed at one point during our conversation stated that he should have handled the referee himself.”

Breed is expected to attend a hearing of the University Interscholastic League on Thursday in Round Rock, Texas, where the governing body of Texas high school athletics could sanction Breed and John Jay’s football program.

Wednesday’s hearings for Moreno and Rojas were held at the Northside Independent School District headquarters in San Antonio.

“If found guilty of violating the Student Code of Conduct, the range of consequences could range from assignment to alternative school to expulsion,” a school district spokesperson said.

Moreno and Rojas have already been assigned to an alternative school and are prohibited from watching John Jay games as spectators.

In an interview last week with “Good Morning America,” the boys said they were simply following instructions from coach Breed on the day they blindsided official Watts.

“You put your trust into this grown-up, this guardian, your coach, who’s been there for me. … I trust him. I did what I was told,” Moreno said.

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