A video appears to show a Pennsylvania high school basketball coach headbutt a referee during a game Tuesday night.
The footage of Neshaminy High School coach Jerry Devine knocking the official to the ground was first posted online by the website City of Basketball Love.
A longer video was provided to WPVI-TV by local radio station WBCB 1490 AM.
The incident happened during a game between Neshaminy and Pennsbury High School in Middletown, on Neshaminy’s home court. According to NBC Philadelphia, Middletown Police were called to the school, but have not yet commented.
Devine has been placed on administrative leave from his teaching and coaching positions while a review is conducted, the school district said in a statement.
The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association is also investigating, it said in a statement. The PIAA said it has received a report from the official involved in the incident and has disqualified Devine from his next game. The PIAA says penalties could range from a one-game suspension to a lifetime ban.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The ‘Headbutt’ Happened After a Late Game Foul Call Against Neshaminy
City of Basketball Love says the incident happened with less than 30 seconds remaining in the game, when one of Devine’s players was called for a charging foul on a layup that would have cut Pennsbury’s lead to three points. The referee called a technical foul on Devine just before the headbutt that sent the official to the floor.
The unnamed referee was able to get up and finished the game. Devine was ejected from the building. It’s not yet known if he will face criminal charges or any disciplinary action.
The full livestream by WBCB can be watched below. The incident happens at about the 1 hour, 33 minute mark of the video:
The coach turns and lunges toward the referee, sending him to the ground. He then waves his hand above the fallen official. The announcer says Devine “bumps” the official, as Devine is escorted out of the building.
Devine’s team is scheduled to play another game Wednesday night. The team is now 1-7.
The school district last made national headlines in 2014 when the high school suspended a teacher and a school newspaper editor for refusing to use the team’s mascot, the Redskins, in the paper.
The district is also facing a legal battle over the nickname after a state civil rights agency found Redskins to be racially derogatory following a parent’s complaint, BucksLocalNews.com reported in April.
2. Devine Has Been a Coach at the School for 10 Years
Devine has been the head boys basketball coach at Neshimany High School for 10 years, according to the school’s website.
He coached Villanova senior star Ryan Arcidiacono, who graduated in 2011. Arcidiacono’s brother, Chris, was the player who was called for an offensive foul before the incident with the referee.
“I think that coach Devine is a great coach and cares about his players a lot,” Neshaminy High School senior Eric Zimmerman, a former basketball player, told LevittownNow.com. “He is a great individual who got caught up in the moment.”
3. People at the Game Reacted on Social Media & the Video Quickly Went Viral
People at the game went to Twitter to react to the incident.
The video quickly went viral after it was posted by City of Basketball Love, garnering national media coverage within hours after the end of the game.
A fan told LevittownNow.com the referee was being hassled by Neshimany’s fans.
“As the student section continued to yell insults at the Pennsbury players and referees, the refs began to start favoring Pennsbury,” Fred Polis said.
He said the students were making fun of the referee’s appearance. Polis added that the charge call was “clearly” wrong.
4. He Is Also a Special Education Teacher at the High School
Devine also teaches special education at the Bucks County High School, according to its website.
He has been teaching for 18 years, with previous jobs with the Bristol Boro School District and the Philadelphia School District. He has been in Neshaminy for 15 years.
Devine graduated from Millersville University.
5. He Is Married & Has 4 Daughters
Devine says on the school’s website that he has been married to his wife, Laura, for seven years.
He has four daughters.