H.S. Basketball Coach Placed on Leave After Incident With Referee
Neshaminy (Pa.) High School boys' basketball head coach Jerry Devine could be facing "serious disciplinary action" after an on-court incident with a referee in the waning seconds of his team's 49-42 loss to Pennsbury High School Tuesday, according to Kevin Cooney of the Bucks County Times.
Josh Verlin of City of Basketball Love shared footage of the incident, in which Devine appeared to head-butt a referee "with under 30 seconds left in the game, when a Neshaminy player was called for a charge after going in for a layup that could have made it a three-point game."
SB Nation posted footage showing another angle of the incident later, with Devine seemingly chest-bumping the official to the ground rather than head-butting him. Either way, the move earned Devine an immediate ejection, which results in an automatic one-game suspension from the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association, per Cooney.
WBCB 1490 livestreamed the game, which is where SB Nation found its footage. Chris Ermer, a broadcaster for the station, described the incident to ESPN.com's Jeff Goodman:
"The coach went crazy. He came out and made contact with the official and took him off his feet. He was indicating with his body language that he didn't mean to do it. I think he intended to get in the guy's chest. 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 head-butt the ref."
According to David Chang of NBC Philadelphia, police responded after receiving a call reporting a disturbance. It is unknown at this time whether any charges will be filed against Devine, who teaches history and algebra at the school.
The Neshaminy school district released a statement Wednesday about the incident, announcing that Devine has been placed on administrative leave pending a review of the incident, for both his teaching and coaching positions.
"Appropriate action was taken at the game following that incident, and further measures may follow depending on the outcome of that review," the district said. "As this is a personnel matter, we will not be able to comment on the specifics of any possible disciplinary action until that review process is complete."
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