KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- An ugly end to a high school baseball game was caught on camera. An athlete took a swing at an umpire after a game last Friday between Wartburg and Coalfield High Schools and now one of those teams is facing some serious consequences.
The woman who shot the video was just feet away from the confrontation and says the ordeal did not start with a call on the field during the game. She is a mother of a player on Coalfield's team. A Coalfield player, not her son, takes a swing at an umpire, narrowly missing him.
Local 8 News spoke with the woman, Mary, who says, “The ref comes through and he says 'you shut up, you shut (expletive) up and he said I am TBI...”
Mary also says the ump said he would put people in jail before a punch was ever thrown.
“And then he says he's going to smack the boy's mother...and the boy throws a punch and hits the coach,” adds Mary.
The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association is aware of the situation. Executive director, Bernard Childress met with the principal and athletic director at Coalfield High School Tuesday morning.
“We can't remember in 20 years a situation where a student athlete has actually swung and hit an official like that,” says Childress in a phone interview with Local 8.
Childress adds, "The first thing you see in the video is two assistant coaches approaching umpires after the game, secondly, the head coach was also talking to one of the officials and actually it looked as though he was pushing the official away from the dugout area; regardless of what the situation is -- you can never put your hands on a game official."
Mary says she doesn't condone the punch being thrown, but understands tempers were hot.
“He never touched him...he shouldn't have thrown the punch, I'm not saying the kid shouldn't have thrown the punch, he realizes now he shouldn't – but he was defending his mother and it was a heated situation."
Mary shared with us a letter from TSSAA says the Coalfield team is being suspended the rest of this season and will not be able to play in the post season next year. The program has also been fined $3,000. According to the same document, the student who threw the punch has been charged. Police have not returned our call.
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