- Malcolm Easley was flagged after he ran into official, but will face no sanction from athletics officials
- Game official tells CNN affiliate he thinks hit was intentional
- Father of player, also his coach, says son is not type of kid to purposely hit unsuspecting person
Malcolm Easley, who plays for his father at Glencliff High School in Nashville, ran into official Kyle Gill from behind on 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.
"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