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Texas UIL says it’s investigating after video shows HS ref ripping helmet off player

Texas UIL says it’s investigating after video shows HS ref ripping helmet off player

Jack Baer

Football sitting on the grass next to a yard line

A Texas high school football ref could be in hot water. (Getty Images) (cmannphoto via Getty Images)

The University Interscholastic League, the governing body of Texas high school football, said Saturday it is investigating after a video went viral showing a game official ripping the helmet off a player.

The incident occurred Friday in a game between Whitney and Dallas Madison at Seagoville Stadium in Dallas.

A video from an account identified as Karla Haynes, whose bio says she is the wife of Whitney head coach and athletic director David Haynes Jr., shows a Whitney linebacker bumping into the referee twice. The referee responds to the second bump by grabbing the player, whom Haynes says is her son, by the facemask and ripping his helmet off.

The referee throws a flag after the play, at which point Haynes said he ejected her son.

Another account belonging to Dillon Hightower, identified as Whitney’s wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator, responded with an angle of the play from the opposite side:

The referee involved has not yet been identified.

The morning after the game, at which point the incident had received significant attention on social media, the UIL posted on X (formerly known as Twitter) that it was aware of the incident with “great concern” and was “actively looking into the matter.”

The UIL is aware of an incident involving a sports official and a student athlete during the Whitney vs. Dallas Madison varsity football game last night (Friday, 9/29). This situation is of great concern to us and we are actively looking into the matter.

— Texas UIL (@uiltexas) September 30, 2023

Whitney went on to beat Dallas Madison, 56-28, per MaxPreps.

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