Dunbar football player assaults referee
Game called after player head-butted official while wearing helmet.
By Sarah Franks
Staff Writer

A Dunbar High School football players faces punishment after he assaulted a referee Saturday night during the team’s nonleague game at Welcome Stadium against Cincinnati’s Roger Bacon.

Dunbar was down 23-8 with seven minutes left in the first half against Roger Bacon when the player head-butted a referee 
after it looks like the player had been ejected from the game. The player was wearing a helmet when the assault happened.

Dunbar had been called for three unsportsmanlike penalties that night, prior to the assault.

Following the head-butt, the referees called the game and both team exited the field.

“The Dayton Public Schools are dealing with the student who chose to behave in a manner unbecoming of DPS athletes,” Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli said in a statement. “The Dayton Public School District extends a sincere apology to the referee involved in the incident, as well as the Roger Bacon and Dunbar athletes, referees, coaches parents and spectators who were not able to play in or watch the event.”

A video showed the incident occurred around the five-yard line. After the player head-butted the referee, flags were thrown by surrounding officials before the player then attempted to approach another referee.

Coaches and fellow Dunbar Wolverine players pulled the player away before any further physical contact could occur.

There are no reports of an arrest, however, Dayton police said they were requested for assistance for an escort from the building.

“Never seen anything like it in 35 years being around the game,” Roger Bacon defensive backs coach Tommy Watkins told WCPO Cincinnati.

Ben Ferree of the Ohio High School Athletic Association said the state organization will investigate the incident.

Asked about what punishment the Dunbar player faces, Ferree said in his seven years with OHSAA he could not remember an incident in which a player assaulted a referee.

“This is new to me,” Ferree said.

Contact this reporter at 937-225-2207 or email Sarah.Franks@coxinc.com.