Tennessee high school football player who ran into official won’t be disciplined

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TENNESSEE — The high school football player in Tennessee who ran into an official during a game will not be disciplined, the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association said Wednesday.

Malcolm Easley of Glencliff High School in Nashville will be able to take the field Friday, said Joe Bass of the Metro Nashville Public Schools.

Easley, who is coached by his father, ran into official Kyle Gill from behind last Friday as he pursued a ball carrier in a contest at Gallatin High School.

A 15-yard penalty was called on the 6-foot-4, 196-pound safety, but he was not ejected from the game.

“It was an accident,” Glencliff Principal Clint Wilson said. “Malcolm says he was following the ball and trying to block. He didn’t realize the person he was running toward was an official.”

“Our staff reviewed the tape several times and felt there was not malicious intent,” Matthew Gillespie of the TSSAA said.

Gill told CNN affiliate WSMV that he thought the hit was intentional. According to Gill, Easley had complained that the umpire, who positions himself not far behind the defensive line, was in the way.

“I asked him, ‘How long have you been playing football?’ ” Gill told the Nashville station. “I said, ‘Referees are part of the field, and it’s your job to go around us.’ And immediately he runs right into the back of me the next play.”

Coach Brandon Easley told the Tennessean newspaper that his son would write a letter to the official because the hit could have been avoided.

“He will (avoid those types of hits) in the future,” Brandon Easley said. “His character is not the character of someone who would intentionally set out to do that.”

In another case, two Texas high school football players, who intentionally hit an official during a game earlier this month and were suspended from school, attended a disciplinary hearing Wednesday.

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