High Schooler Gary Simpson Arrested for Punching Coach During Game
Oftentimes in the wonderful, yet violent, world of football, we see tempers flaring on the field. Unsportsmanlike conduct and unnecessary roughness penalties are a part of the game at all levels. What do you expect from a sport that is based around 250-pound guys trying to hurt each other?
On rare occasions, we see frustration from a game spill over off the field. We all remember the infamous LeGarrette Blount post-game incident in 2009 when he punched an opponent square in the jaw. You may even recall the time Steve Smith was suspended for breaking a teammate’s nose during training camp. However, there has not been an abundance of physical altercations between players and coaches.
Unfortunately, such an event took place during a Pennsylvania high school football game on Friday night. According to the Erie Times-News via Prep Rally, East High senior Gary Simpson was arrested and hauled off the field in handcuffs after he punched his coach, Michael Cutter, in the face. As of Wednesday morning, the 18-year-old’s $25,000 bond had yet to be posted and he remained in jail.
How did this all happen? According to police reports, Simpson claims he was walking off the field in frustration during the game (his team ended up losing 34-12), and punched his coach because Cutter threatened to “punch (him) into the dirt.” Cutter, however, says he approached Simpson and put his hand on his shoulder to comfort him, which seemed to anger Simpson. Cutter says he then told the senior he would “put you in the dirt if you ever swing at me,” at which point Simpson turned and hit him in the face.
Regardless of what really happened, there is no place for something like that in football — especially at the high school level. In an era where we have coaches placing bounties on opposing players’ heads, we can’t afford to have teenagers swinging at their high school coaches out of frustration.