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Video: Neshaminy coach gets physical with referee

01/06/2016, 10:15am EST
By Josh Verlin

Josh Verlin (@jmverlin)

Update 9:00 a.m. Neshaminy coach Jerry Divine has been placed on administrative leave following last night's incident, the school said in a release.

The school released a statement early Wednesday morning saying it will conduct a thorough review of Tuesday night's incident involving Divine and a referee. The district added that since it is an ongoing investigation, it will not be able to comment about it until the completion of the investigation.

Here is the full statement:

"The administration at Neshaminy School District is conducting a thorough review of an incident at the varsity basketball game Tuesday evening (January 5, 2016) involving coach Jerry Devine and a referee. Appropriate action was taken at the game following that incident, and further measures may follow depending on the outcome of that review. As this is a personnel matter, we will not be able to comment on the specifics of any possible disciplinary action until that review process is complete.

Mr. Devine has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of that review for both his teaching and coaching positions.

The athletic program at Neshaminy places the values of fair play and sportsmanlike conduct above all. We expect our coaches and staff to teach and uphold those principles, while acting in a professional manner at all times."


Edit 12:00 AM: There is a full broadcast of the game available online HERE courtesy of WBCB in which you can see the foul and subsequent actions right around the 1:33:30 mark from a different angle which makes it more difficult to tell if Devine made contact with his head or chest.

As it is now unclear, we have edited the title of this piece.


Update (1:00 AM, 1/5/2016): Spoke to Chris Ermer, the color commentator from the above WBCB broadcast:

"From my vantage point, it looked more like a chest bump or a belly bump that just caught the ref off-guard," he said. "And after making contact with the official, coach Devine almost indicated by giving a sweeping motion with his hand that he thought the ref had flopped, that he thought the contact wasn’t enough to send the man to the floor.”

No matter what part of Divine made contact with the referee, Ermer clearly felt that the coach was in the wrong; on the broadcast, he and play-by-play man Vince Reed seem to indicate that they believed it was an accident, but after watching both angles of the video Ermer took a harder stance.

"No, because he made contact with an official, and I don’t think that’s ever really excusable," he said. "Sometimes those opinions are not always expressed on a broadcast for me, but I don’t think there’s ever a place where officials should feel like they’re intimidated or contact you, it’s certainly an intentional, physical contact, which is totally inappropriate.”


Original story: CoBL has obtained video footage from Tuesday's night's boys basketball game between Pennsbury and Neshaminy that appears to show Neshaminy head coach Jerry Devine head-butting a referee, causing him to fall over.

Multiple sources in attendance tell CoBL that the video shows action with under 30 seconds left in the game, when a Neshaminy player was called for a charge after going in for a layup that could have made it a 3-point game, at which point Devine lost his cool.

The video, which is a cell phone capture of recorded game footage, is only five seconds long, and has two men reacting to the play.

Those sources say that after the indicident, Devine was removed from the gymnasium. The 10th-year head coach, who is also a history and algebra teacher, according to the school's website, is most well-known for coaching Villanova senior Ryan Arcidiacono during his four yours at the northeast Philadelphia suburban school.

Neshaminy is scheduled to play at Pennridge on Wednesday night.

CoBL will have more on this story as it develops.


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