Assistant football coach reportedly ordered Texas high school players to hit referee during game

An assistant coach allegedly admitted that he ordered two Texas high school football players to tackle a referee during a game earlier this month, according to an ESPN Outside the Lines report.

John Jay High School assistant football coach Mack Breed reportedly told the players to target the ref in the Sept. 4 game because he said the official had used racial slurs, a letter from Principal Robert Harris reveals.

“Coach Breed told me that he directed the students to make the referee pay for his racial comments and calls,” Harris wrote in the document obtained by ESPN. “He wanted to take full responsibility for his actions. Mr. Breed at one point during our conversation stated that he should have handled the referee himself.”

Breed, who has been suspended from his role with the team, has not publicly commented on the incident.

A video of the vicious blindside hit on referee Robert Watts went viral and landed the two defensive players who executed the takedown in hot water. Sophomore Victor Rojas, 15, and senior Michael Moreno, 17, have been suspended from the team and face disciplinary hearings on Wednesday and Thursday. Breed is expected to attend Thursday’s session, according to ESPN.

“If found guilty of violating the Student Code of Conduct, the range of consequences could range from assignment to alternative school to expulsion,” a school district spokesman said.

Authorities also are weighing charging the players with a misdemeanor assault.

Moreno and Rojas told ESPN last week that Breed had ordered them to hit Watts for his alleged offensive language. Watts’ attorney, Alan Goldberger, has said Watts did not make any racist comments.

Watts was not treated or hospitalized for any injuries, according to the San Antonio Express-News.