How Should Players Who Attack Referees Be Punished?

Emotions run high during football games – especially here in Texas.

By Rhonda FanningSeptember 9, 2015 8:29 am| ,

There’s been more than 8 million views on a YouTube video showing the final minute of a football game in Marble Falls – it’s the blindside heard ’round the world.

In the video, you see a player for the losing team of San Antonio’s John Jay High school blindside a referee, as a fellow player approaches from the other side and helmet spikes the ref while he’s on the ground. Both players have been suspended from the team, from school, and the Marble Falls police are currently weighing assault charges.

This seems like an unusual case to say the least…but as refs will tell you, its not unusual to be the target of anger. Jim Quirk, executive director of the NFL Referees Association, joins the Standard to talk about the complications that arise on the field when physical violence comes into play.

“In all my close to forty years of officiating at every level,” from Pop Warner to professional teams, Quirk says, “I’ve never seen a situation like this.”

Quirk said a full-season suspension, the sanction Fox rules analyst Mike Pereira has suggested, would be appropriate if allegations that the assistant coach told players to tackle the ref were found to be true.

“You can’t have grown-ups,” Quirk says,”encouraging players to go out and seek retribution for what they perceive to have been a wrong.”