AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The State Executive Committee of the University Interscholastic League publicly reprimanded Edinburg High School Head Football Coach J.J. Leija on Monday, Dec. 14, and placed him on probation for the 2021-2022 school year.

This after a December 3 incident during a game in which Edinburg defensive lineman Emmanuel Duron blindsided a referee who had ejected him from the game.

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(credit: Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District)

The next day, the teen was charged with assault.

Additionally, the Edinburg High School Athletic Department received a public reprimand and probation for all athletic activities for two years stemming from the incident of physical contact between a student-athlete and a sports official.

The student-athlete was suspended from all UIL activities for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year.

The incident happened when Duron charged from the sideline in full pads and slammed into an official during the game against Pharr-San Juan-Alamo (PSJA) High.

The referee, identified as 59-year-old Fred Garcia, had ejected Duron from the game after he committed a personal foul and received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for arguing after getting flagged for the late hit.

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A cart was brought out onto the field, but Garcia was able to leave the field under his own power.

The referee was evaluated for a concussion by medical personnel at the stadium and did not return to the game.

The game resumed after the referee attack. Edinburg won 35-21 — a victory that should have advanced the team to the playoffs, but Friday afternoon the Edinburg Consolidated ISD sent a statement to CBS 11 News saying —

“The district has decided to remove the Edinburg High School football team from the playoffs after an unexpected incident involving a student that occurred during a football game on December 3, 2020. We extend a sincere apology to the referee and his family. On behalf of the Edinburg CISD Board of Trustees and administration, we apologize to the athletes, staff, and our school community.

We will take the appropriate disciplinary action once we understand the facts and circumstances underlining this incident. The district takes these matters very seriously; however, we cannot comment further on a pending investigation.”

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

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