Crime

Why a football coach was charged after an Horry County middle school game

jbell@thesunnews.com

A football coach was charged for pushing a 70-year-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.

Veteran referee Horst Daichendt knows how to keep parents in check.

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.

“On behalf of the Association anyone who strikes an official should be punished to the full extent of the law.”

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