Texas board punishes Emmanuel Duron, along with coach, Edinburg High

The Texas prep football player who made national headlines last week when he bowled over a referee after being ejected from a game won’t be playing high school sports again this academic year.

The University Interscholastic League executive committee on Monday suspended Emmanuel Duron of Edinburg High from all league-sanctioned activities for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year, the result of his actions Thursday night.

Duron, a senior defensive lineman, stormed onto the field from the sideline and slammed referee Fred Gracia to the ground just seconds after Gracia announced that Duron was ejected from the contest after back-to-back unsportsmanlike penalties. Video of the incident went viral.

Local police escorted Duron away from the stadium, and he was charged with Class A assault the following day.

“I’d like to say I’m sorry for what happened to my coaches and to my family and to the UIL,” Duron said in a statement Monday, according to local media reports.

The day after the incident, Edinburg High officials suspended Duron from school for three days and suspended him from all extracurricular activities for the rest of the academic year. The UIL board on Monday upheld both punishments, with The Monitor of McAllen saying it was by unanimous 5-0 vote.

In addition, the board said Edinburg High coach J.J. Leija has been placed on probation for the 2021-22 school year and that the school’s athletic department has been placed on probation for two years.

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

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