When it comes to youth sports, it’s seldom the youths that are the problem. The parents are the issue.
The tradition of embarrassing and childish parental behavior in youth sports has been reconfirmed in the highly publicized case of the two San Antonio John Jay high school football players who drilled an unsuspecting referee in a game against Marble Falls on Sept. 4.
Emails obtained for a report by ESPN’s Outside the Lines outline that assistant coach Mack Breed told the two players - Michael Moreno and Victor Rojas - to make referee Robert Watts “pay for his racial comments and calls.” Mack Breed is on paid administrative leave.
Time to shut down the season. The respective penalties for the three people can’t end their lives, but the two kids should not be allowed to participate in Texas UIL events any more, and Breed’s coaching career in Texas is over.
Last week, the two players sat down for an extensive interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos and said they were directed to take action by their assistant coach at the ref’.
The new ESPN report says that Watts used the “N-word” twice during the game. Watts, via his attorney, has denied such claims.
Northside ISD in San Antonio is scheduled to hold a hearing today regarding the status of Moreno and Rojas. The Texas UIL is scheduled to hold an extensive hearing on Thursday at a Marriott in Round Rock to officially handle this investigation. The meeting will not be open to the public.
That sounds all but inevitable now, and it is the right thing to do despite the effect it will have on teams other than John Jay.
John Jay is 2-2 on the season with five games remaining. If the findings on Thursday support the previous claims and reports, John Jay’s is immediately over. It should not play in its scheduled game on Friday night against O’Connor. It will be a tremendous price to pay by the other members of the team, the band, the cheerleaders as well as every scheduled opponent that remains. You only get to play so many high school football games, and to lose the chance to play one is a tremendous price.
It also has to be done.
Watts could have been seriously injured, and this sort of direction by an adult in youth sports far exceeds embarrassment and crosses into humiliating.
So John Jay got screwed on a couple of calls - so what? Welcome to life. Breed’s life message was - we got jobbed by a dumb ref, hit ‘em.
The sad part, according to reports, the two players regarded Breed as a father figure. The emotions of the game grabbed Breed’s better judgment and he made a horrible, life-changing decision.