We know what you want: another depressing story about terrible allegations against a youth football coach! That’s exactly what you want to hear about, right? No? That’s exactly what you didn’t want to hear? Well, too bad, because you’re going to hear about it anyway: a coach in Utah named Nathan Harris was arrested and is under investigation for felony child abuse following an incident in a recent game.
That incident: Harris allegedly clotheslined an opposing player – a 13-year-old opposing player, mind you – leaving the kid with a concussion and out of game action for a month. And unlike the alleged youth football bounty story from a couple weeks back, on this one, there’s video evidence. Video evidence that makes it tough to determine if there was actual malicious intent, but certainly video evidence that a kid got knocked down hard. Here it is:
And of course, the account from police…
”As the 13-year-old ran down, Mr. Harris stepped out and hit him with his forearm under his chin,” police Sgt. Lance Smith said. ”And then Mr. Harris stepped back and just stood there.”
…and the game’s referee…
Referee David Durrant said the boy looked like he was about to go out of bounds – or had just gotten out of bounds – when he was hit near the sideline of the visiting team.
”It looked like the coach had a lot of time to move, he didn’t move, and he stood there and delivered a blow,” Durrant said.
Durrant threw a penalty flag and ejected Harris.
…don’t make things sound any better for Harris. Harris’s lawyer, of course, says the whole thing was an accident, and we agree with him that the video in question doesn’t answer every question about the incident. But when the best possible outcome of a story is that it turns out a coach gave a 13-year-old kid on the other team a concussion by accident, you know you’re not dealing with a terribly uplifting story. For the sake of all of us, let’s hope this is the last disturbing accusation we hear coming out of youth football for a good long while.