Prep star apologizes for decking referee, punished by school sports board


A Texas high school football star whose on-field attack on a referee led to criminal charges has apologized for the shocking stunt.

Edinburg High School star Emmanuel Duron made headlines earlier this month when jarring video showed him blindside a referee following his ejection from a playoff game.

Duron this week offered his contrition to the state's school sports administration, the University Interscholastic League, while he, his school, and the team's football coach all were handed punishments.

"I'd like to say I'm sorry for what happened to my coaches and to my family, and to the UIL," Duron told the agency's executive committee at a Monday hearing, the Houston Chronicle reported.

For his actions, Duron was banned from school sports for the remainder of the academic year, while Edinburg head coach JJ Leija was placed on probation through the 2021-22 academic year, reports said.

As well, the school's athletic department received a public reprimand and was put on probation for two years.

Duron was suspended from school for three days following the incident and has been placed in a behavioral intervention program, according to the San Antonio Express.

“It’s very important that this young man have the counseling that he needs, and you have done that and will continue to do that,” chairman Mike Motheral said during the meeting, the report said.

Duron, an 18-year-old star defensive lineman, was tossed from Edinburg's game against rival Pharr-San Juan-Alamo by 58-year-old referee Fred Garcia after incurring personal fouls on consecutive plays.

The hulking teen stormed the field after his ejection was announced, and decked the unsuspecting official, who was examined and treated in an ambulance at the stadium.

Jarring photos captured by local media outlets showed Duron being restrained by his coaches and later led out of the stadium by armed police officers.

He was arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault the next day.