Texas high school football player arrested for referee attack gets one-year sports ban as he apologizes for tackling the official and getting his team booted from the playoffs

 The Texas high school football player who was arrested for attacking an official on December 3 has been banned from scholastic sports for one year.

Emmanuel Duron of Edinburg High was suspended from all sanctioned activities for the rest of the 2020-21 school year by the University Interscholastic League (UIL) executive committee on Monday.

The 18-year-old defensive lineman is also a star wrestler at the school, but will not compete this season following the suspension.


Duron was disqualified for multiple unsportsmanlike conduct penalties against Pharr-San Juan-Alamo. The 5-foot-11, 225-pound senior responded by running in from the sideline and slamming into the unsuspecting referee who made the call.

The victim, who was later identified as 59-year-old official Fred Gracia, was examined for a concussion on the field and walked off without any help. 

The Texas high school football player who was arrested for attacking an official on the field on December 3 has been banned from scholastic sports for one year. Emmanuel Duron of Edinburg High was suspended from all sanctioned activities for the rest of the 2020-21 school year by the University Interscholastic League (UIL) executive committee on Monday

The Texas high school football player who was arrested for attacking an official on the field on December 3 has been banned from scholastic sports for one year. Emmanuel Duron of Edinburg High was suspended from all sanctioned activities for the rest of the 2020-21 school year by the University Interscholastic League (UIL) executive committee on Monday 

TX football player charges referee after disqualification from game
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Edinburg's Emmanuel Duron is escorted out of the stadium by police after charging a referee during a high school football zone play-in game against Pharr-San Juan-Alamo on Thursday

Edinburg's Emmanuel Duron is escorted out of the stadium by police after charging a referee during a high school football zone play-in game against Pharr-San Juan-Alamo on Thursday

Duron offered an apology on Monday.

'I'd like to say I'm sorry for what happened to my coaches and to my family and to the UIL,' he said in a statement.


The incident took place in the first half of Edinburg's 35-21 postseason victory on December 3. But despite the win, school officials decided to end the team's season.

Duron was charged with assault causing bodily injury on Friday, the Daily Mail confirmed. He posted a $10,000 bond on December 3 and was released.

Edinburg head football coach JJ Leija (pictured) has also been placed on a one-year probation, according to the school. Additional violations could result in further disqualifications for Edinburg teams

Edinburg head football coach JJ Leija (pictured) has also been placed on a one-year probation, according to the school. Additional violations could result in further disqualifications for Edinburg teams

Edinburg head football coach JJ Leija has also been placed on a one-year probation, according to the school. Additional violations could result in further disqualifications for Edinburg teams.

The UIL released a statement on Monday.

'We as a district understand that it is a very unfortunate incident for the team, as the students and coaching staff worked very hard throughout the year for this season, but it is important that our district abides by the rules and regulations set forth by the UIL,' Edinburg CISD interim superintendent Gilbert Garza said, as quoted by TheMonitor.com.

'Our district's leadership agrees with the committee also that such incidents are not acceptable and will not be tolerated. Moving forward, our district is committed to developing and implementing a plan of action to proactively deter any future misconduct by any future student-athlete.

'Could we have done better in the way we handled the incident? Yes, we could have,' he added. 'We have learned from this teachable moment and we will make every effort in the future to make sure an incident like such will not occur again.'

Referee Fred Gracia falls to the turf after being charged by Edinburg's Emmanuel Duron. The Edinburgh High School has been banned from playing in their district's playoffs

Referee Fred Gracia falls to the turf after being charged by Edinburg's Emmanuel Duron. The Edinburgh High School has been banned from playing in their district's playoffs

The scene played out Thursday night in Edinburg, Texas after Duron was ejected and responded by charging onto the field to attack an unsuspecting Fred Gracia

The scene played out Thursday night in Edinburg, Texas after Duron was ejected and responded by charging onto the field to attack an unsuspecting Fred Gracia 

Teammates and coaches swarmed Duron, circling the upperclassmen and urging him off the field. As Pharr-San Juan-Alamo players began to pursue Duron, his Edinburg teammates and a few coaches stepped in before a bad situation could get any worse

Teammates and coaches swarmed Duron, circling the upperclassmen and urging him off the field. As Pharr-San Juan-Alamo players began to pursue Duron, his Edinburg teammates and a few coaches stepped in before a bad situation could get any worse

In the viral footage from the game, Duron, wearing No. 88, is first seen being walked off the field by coaches after being whistled for a late hit on the opposing quarterback.

Immediately following his ejection, Duron sprinted back on to the field without his helmet and launched himself into the official, who had only a moment to brace for impact.

'We got a personal foul, late hit on the quarterback, No. 88, defense,' said Gracia.

The referee continued: 'We got an unsportsmanlike conduct. No. 88 on the defense has been disqualified.'

Teammates and coaches swarmed Duron, circling the upperclassmen and ushering him off the field.

As Pharr-San Juan-Alamo players began to pursue Duron, his Edinburg teammates and a few coaches stepped in before a bad situation could get any worse.

Duron was then escorted from the stadium by police.

The Monitor reported that Gracia was evaluated for a concussion by medical personnel at the stadium. He walked off the field under his own power.

The game resumed after a delay, with Edinburg winning 35-21.

The District 31-6A Defensive Player of the Year last season, Duron also is the Bobcats' kicker, punter and a star wrestler.

Edinburg's Emmanuel Duron, left, is held back by teammate Anthony Cardona after Duron charged a referee during a high school football zone play-in game on Thursday in Texas

Edinburg's Emmanuel Duron, left, is held back by teammate Anthony Cardona after Duron charged a referee during a high school football zone play-in game on Thursday in Texas 

Feferee Fred Gracia was evaluated for a concussion by school medical staff on the field

Feferee Fred Gracia was evaluated for a concussion by school medical staff on the field 

Texas high school football player arrested for referee attack gets one-year sports ban as he apologizes for tackling the official and getting his team booted from the playoffs Texas high school football player arrested for referee attack gets one-year sports ban as he apologizes for tackling the official and getting his team booted from the playoffs Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 05:58 Rating: 5

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