Police Reportedly Respond After HS Basketball Coach Appears to Head-Butt Referee

Alec NathanFeatured ColumnistJanuary 6, 2016

A ball sits on the floor during the second half of an NBA basketball game between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Oklahoma City Thunder, Monday, Dec. 21, 2015, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

Video emerged Tuesday evening of Neshaminy High School head basketball coach Jerry Devine appearing to head-butt a referee near the end of a game against Pennsbury High School in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, according to Josh Verlin of the website City of Basketball Love.

NBC Philadelphia's David Chang posted video of the altercation, which reportedly occurred with less than 30 seconds remaining in regulation:

SB Nation's Mark Sandritter captured an alternate angle from the WBCB 1490AM live stream:

Devine was subsequently slapped with his second technical foul of the game and ejected. According to Chang, police later responded to a call regarding a disturbance. It is unclear if charges will be filed.

According to a statement from Neshaminy High School, Devine was placed on administrative leave on Wednesday, per Chip Patterson of CBS Sports: 

Mr. Devine has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of that review for both his teaching and coaching positions. The athletic program at Neshaminy places the values of fair play and sportsmanlike conduct above all. We expect our coaches and staff to teach and uphold those principles, while acting in a professional manner at all times.

WBCB broadcaster Chris Ermer explained how he saw the situation unfold, per ESPN.com's Jeff Goodman:

The coach went crazy. He came out and made contact with the official and took him off his feet. He was indicating with his body language that he didn't mean to do it. I think he intended to get in the guy's chest. But as he did it, he was off balance and went down. You can't say he didn't intend to make contact, but I don't think he was trying to head-butt the ref.

Neshaminy High School's official website indicates Devine has been teaching for 18 years and is currently in his 10th season as the varsity basketball coach.