Two John Jay football players suspended for hit on referee

Athletic director says video of incident 'very disturbing'


MARBLE FALLS, Texas – The Northside Independent School District has launched an investigation after two John Jay High School football players ran into the back of a referee during their game Friday.

The incident happened in the 4th quarter of the team's game against Marble Falls High School in Marble Falls.

An NISD spokesperson said Sunday that the two students involved have been suspended from the team and from school. A hearing is scheduled for next week.

At the snap of the ball the first Jay player, runs into the back of referee Robert Watts as he watched the play unfold. A second player appeared to target the official while he was on the ground.

Game footage showing the collisions has been posted on popular sports websites and is spreading through social media. At one point Sunday night, it was among the top shared stories on Facebook and Twitter.

Pascual Gonzalez, NISD executive director of communications, issued the following statement Sunday regarding the incident:

"The incident is extremely disturbing. Not the sportsmanlike behavior we teach students. We are cooperating with the UIL on the investigation of this incident. We will deal with this on Tuesday, and proceed with a due process hearing, which will include interviews with the student athletes, as well as the officials and coaching staff. NISD will not tolerate this kind of behavior."

The University Interscholastic League released the following statement Sunday via Twitter:

"The UIL is extremely concerned about the actions portrayed in the football game between Marble Falls and the San Antonio Jay. The League is working with the school districts and officials involved to conduct a thorough investigation. The UIL takes this matter very seriously and will take appropriate action once the investigation is complete."

Before the referee was hit, two Jay players had been ejected on separate plays. Though it hasn't been confirmed, KSAT 12 did receive reports that something may have been said to John Jay players on the field that led to the incident.

Marble Falls coach Matt Green said Jay coach Gary Gutierrez apologized after the game.

The Texas Association of Sports Officials is also looking into the incident.

From our sister station KSAT 12 in San Antonio.