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An assistant coach for a Catholic high school football team in Florida was caught on video punching a player during a game last week — and that coach is now out of a job.
What are the details?
The unnamed assistant coach for Jesuit High School in Tampa was seen striking one his players on the helmet as the player ran off the field toward the sideline during Friday night's contest against rival Tampa Catholic, WTVT-TV reported.
The defensive player wearing a number 94 jersey appeared to be trying to exit the field of play before the ball was snapped, the Tampa Bay Times said, adding the assistant coach appeared to strike the player with a closed hand.
Jesuit High's head coach, Matt Thompson, did not identify the assistant Saturday night and would say only that “the matter is being addressed," the paper reported.
However, school president Rev. Richard C. Hermes, S.J., issued the following statement about the incident:
I am writing to make you aware of an incident that occurred this past Friday night during the Jesuit home football game. Between plays on the field, one of our part-time assistant coaches struck a Jesuit player on the helmet as the player was coming off the field and onto the sideline.
This behavior contradicts what the school stands for and is completely contrary to the expectation we have for coaches, moderators, and faculty members, who are to be role models for our students and mentors in their development as young men.
We have reached out to the student, who was not injured in the incident, and to his family. We have met with the coach and informed him that he will no longer be coaching Jesuit football or assisting the school in any other capacity.
The mission of Jesuit is to provide a Christian formation and education for our students. This requires that we maintain an environment for them that is safe, supportive, and conducive to their well-being and growth. This standard applies to all activities, inside and outside the classroom. We are reviewing our internal procedures and staff training to ensure that this standard is upheld by all Jesuit personnel, full-time and part-time.
Thank you for your prayers and encouragement in helping us to better fulfill our mission.
Jesuit won the game 66-35 and will host Pinellas Park (6-4) in the opening round of the Class 3M, Region 2 playoffs Friday, the Times reported.
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Sr. Editor, News
Dave Urbanski is a senior editor for Blaze News.