The Northside Independent School District is investigating a video taken during a Jay High School football game that has gone viral.
The video was shot during the Mustangs' 15-9 loss to Marble Falls on Friday night in Marble Falls.
In the video, a John Jay player wearing jersey No. 12 runs directly at an official during a play that occurred with about a minute left in the game. He starts from the Mustangs' 5 yard line and runs about seven yards before barreling into the official, who is standing in the center of the field with his back to the player.
After the play, it appears that another Jay player, possibly wearing jersey No. 81, dives on the official, leading with his helmet, while the official is on the ground.
In a phone interview with KENS 5 Sports' David Flores on Sunday, NISD Athletic Director Stan Laing said the two players involved in the incident have been suspended from the team and from school, pending an NISD investigation.
"It is what it is when you see it on the video," Laing said. "Obviously, that's very disturbing and inexcusable. That type of behavior certainly would never be condoned."
But Laing said the video clip could tell "only part of the story" of what sparked the incident. He would not elaborate further, citing the pending investigation by the school district.
The player wearing the No. 12 jersey was ejected by the official after the play, but No. 81 remained in the game and another Jay player was tossed instead, Laing said.
"After he (the official) got knocked down and he got back up, he ejected one of the wrong kids," Laing said. "No. 12 and No. 81 are the ones involved in the video, but No. 81 did not get ejected. No. 12 and No. 7, who came over after the play, got ejected."
The ejections came after Jay senior free safety Moses Reynolds already had been kicked out of the game following an altercation with a Marble Falls player. A fourth Jay player was tossed earlier in the game.
Reynolds confirmed to KENS 5 that he was ejected "a couple of plays" before the incident involving the official. Reynolds, who also plays quarterback for the Mustangs, said he got tossed from the game while he was playing defense.
Reynolds declined to comment further.
An officiating crew from Austin worked the Jay-Marble Falls game.
On Sunday, NISD spokesman Pascual Gonzales said:
This incident is extremely disturbing, not the sportsman like behavior we teach students at Northside ISD. We are cooperating with the UIL investigation. We will handle this incident on Tuesday morning and schedule a due process hearing which will include formal interviews with coaching staffing , the students themselves and other athletes, anyone who has knowledge of whatever was seen.
The bottom line is, Northside will not tolerate this type of behavior. It does appear the athletes intentionally tackled the referee, but we have not confirmed it.
Laing said it is important to get all sides of the story so that a resolution to the incident can be found.
"We have to be very careful with what we say until we get the entire story," Laing said. "It's really unfortunate. We're still getting stories on different things. That's why we've got to make sure to get the entire story before we basically share it with everybody, because we don't want anything out there to be assumed. We want to be very clear on exactly what happened.
"We'll just have to go through the whole investigation and let all that come out. We will investigate and take appropriate action on what we need to do, what we need to address."
Laing said he's been in contact with the University Interscholastic League, which governs sports and other extracurricular activities in Texas public schools, since the incident occurred.
"There will be a process we have to go through in that regard as well," Laing said.