A Pennsylvania high school basketball coach has been put on administrative leave after video of him appearing to head-butt a referee went viral.
The incident occurred in the final seconds of Tuesday night’s game between two schools, Neshaminy and nearby Pennsbury, when Neshaminy coach Jerry Devine lost his cool following an offensive foul call on one of his players. He stormed on the court and began yelling at an official, who hit him with a technical foul for the outburst. An angry Devine then lunged toward the referee and knocked him to the ground, which earned him an ejection. He was then escorted out of the gym by security personnel – and soon after, grainy cell phone footage of the altercation began making its way around the Internet, even showing up on ESPN and Good Morning America.
Of course, whether or not Devine actually head-butted the referee is a matter of some debate – it sure looks like he did in the footage above, but from another angle, it seems more like a chest-bump gone awry. That theory is backed up by one of the radio broadcasters who called the game.
“From my vantage point, it looked more like a chest bump or a belly bump that just caught the ref off-guard,” the game’s color commentator, Chris Ermer, told City of Basketball Love. “And after making contact with the official, coach Devine almost indicated by giving a sweeping motion with his hand that he thought the ref had flopped, that he thought the contact wasn’t enough to send the man to the floor.”
Either way, Jesus, dude. On Wednesday morning, the Neshaminy School District announced it had placed Devine – who also teaches history and algebra – on administrative leave, and was “conducting a thorough review.” According to reports, the Middletown Township Police Department is also reviewing the tape, though no charges have been filed.