Coach charged af­ter po­lice say he pushed ref dur­ing foot­ball game

The Sun News - - Sports - BY ALEX LANG alang@the­sun­news.com

A foot­ball coach was charged for push­ing a 70year-old ref­eree af­ter a call dur­ing a mid­dle school foot­ball game Mon­day.

Con­way Po­lice cited Joseph Mcarther Brant­ley, 50, with as­sault three de­gree.

On Mon­day, an of­fi­cer went to Con­way High School for a pos­si­ble as­sault, ac­cord­ing to a po­lice re­port.

Whit­te­more Park Mid­dle School and Aynor Mid­dle School were play­ing at the high school field, ac­cord­ing to Horry County Schools spokes­woman Lisa Bourcier.

The of­fi­cer spoke to Ge­orge D. James, 70, and the in­ves­ti­ga­tion showed that Brant­ley pushed and hit Ge­orge in the face with an open hand. Ge­orge did not com­plain of any in­juries, ac­cord­ing to the po­lice re­port.

An un­paid, vol­un­teer coach — Brant­ley — and an uniden­ti­fied foot­ball player from Whit­te­more Park pushed a ref­eree af­ter a call on the field, ac­cord­ing to Bourcier. The in­ci­dent re­mains un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion and dis­ci­plinary ac­tion is pos­si­ble by the school dis­trict and the South Carolina High School League.

“HCS hold our em­ploy­ees and coaches to the high­est of mo­ral stan­dards, and we ex­pect them to con­duct them­selves as role mod­els for our stu­dents. We en­cour­age a pos­i­tive at­mos­phere set by coaches, of­fi­cials, fans and other ath­letes while en­cour­ag­ing prin­ci­ples of good sports­man­ship and en­joy­ment of com­pe­ti­tion,” Bourcier said in a state­ment.

Pres­i­dent of foot­ball of­fi­cials for the South Carolina High School League Tommy Brush said he was not aware of the spe­cific in­ci­dent.

“Un­for­tu­nately, given the im­por­tance that sports has been given in our so­ci­ety and hear­ing the re­marks com­ing from the stands I am sur­prised that there aren’t more in­ci­dents. I am sure you have read that we have a need for more Of­fi­cials and it’s get­ting harder and this doesn’t help,” Brush wrote in an email.

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