Semi-pro football player admits assaulting referee in upstate NY, draws 10-year sentence

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — A football player has admitted he slammed a referee in the face with his helmet at the end of an unruly semiprofessional game in upstate New York.

Running back Leon Woods pleaded guilty to first-degree assault Friday for seriously injuring veteran referee Peter McCabe Jr. in Rochester last October. The 23-year-old will be sentenced in August to 10 years in prison.

His plea came after a brief hearing at his trial in which a judge said Woods could be heard making an incriminating statement in a recording.

The 54-year-old McCabe suffered a fractured skull and had his nose and multiple bones in his face broken. Witnesses say he was attacked without warning by a Western New York Cougars player wearing Woods' number.