Andrew McCulloch, The Monitor, December 4, 2020
Edinburg CISD released a written statement Friday morning saying that the district has decided to remove the Edinburg High Bobcats from postseason play in response to an ugly on-field incident that saw the team’s star defensive player instigate a physical confrontation with a referee.
The incident led to Duron being charged with a class A assault during an arraignment Friday morning at the Edinburg Municipal Court. His cash surety bond has been set at $10,000.
The district’s announcement comes on the heels of an emergency, last-minute school board meeting which was called for early Friday morning.
Edinburg High (3-2, 2-1) defeated PSJA High (1-4, 0-2) in a win-or-go-home District 31-6A zone play-in game 35-21, but the victory was marred after senior defensive end Emmanuel Duron physically attacked an official on the field.
Duron had been ejected from the contest following two flags one play: one for roughing the passer after the whistle blew the play dead and a second for exchanging words with the official, 59-year-old Fred Gracia, who has been a referee with the Texas Association of Sports Officials for 27 years.
Duron was escorted out of Edinburg’s Richard R. Flores Stadium by Edinburg CISD police officers after his physical altercation and ejection. He was not handcuffed and did not return to the premises Thursday night.
Gracia, meanwhile, was able to walk off the field under his power to cheers from the crowd on either side of the stadium. He was medically evaluated for a shoulder injury and concussion-like symptoms in an ambulance outside of the stadium.
Gracia did not return to the game and the officials carried on short-handed for the rest of the night.
The Texas Association of Sports Officials (TASO) and the University Interscholastic League (UIL), which oversee officiating and public high school sports across Texas, respectively, announced in a written statement that the organizations plan to launch an investigation into Thursday night’s on-field incident in Edinburg.
UPDATE (6 P.M.)
A few dozen members of the Edinburg High football team gathered at city hall on Friday afternoon in Edinburg to petition the city and school district for the right to play the bi-district playoff game that the team qualified for by virtue of its win over PSJA High on Thursday night.