John Jay High School's assistant football coach has fessed up to telling two players to hit a referee from behind during a Sept. 4 game in Texas. School principal Robert Harris says Mack Breed admitted he "directed the students to make the referee pay for his racial comments and calls," reports ESPN. Four players and a source on the sidelines say official Robert Watts used the N-word once before and once after he was tackled and told a Hispanic player, "this is America, speak English," per USA Today; Watts denies using any racist remarks. Harris says Breed asked the team's head coach what would happen to the players, Victor Rojas, 15, and Michael Moreno, 17, after the game. When he was told they'd be removed from the team, Breed admitted to ordering the hit, Harris says.
He later confessed again in the principal's office. "Breed at one point during our conversation stated that he should have handled the referee himself," Harris adds. Breed, now on paid administrative leave, will face sanctions today at a University Interscholastic League hearing, as does John Jay's football program. During a disciplinary hearing yesterday, Rojas and Moreno were banned from attending all John Jay games and told they must attend another school for 75 days. They can return to John Jay on Jan. 15, at which point they will have no restrictions on their extracurricular activities, KSAT reports. "If they hadn't been directed by a coach, if there hadn't been a referee that was using racist language, they wouldn't have done this," their lawyer says. "And they regret it." (Read more high school football stories.)