UIL: Official who pulled helmet off Whitney football player’s head ‘removed from officiating’ pending investigation

State agency reversed decision to suspend player involved in the incident
Published: Sep. 30, 2023 at 12:29 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

WHITNEY, Texas (KWTX) - The UIL on Monday reversed the decision of a referee to suspend a Whitney High School football player who ran into a game official during a play in the game against Dallas Madison on Sept. 29, and then had his helmet pulled off his head by the official.

The incident is “concerning,” the UIL said, adding the “official involved has been removed from officiating UIL games pending the completion of a thorough investigation.”

“I’m excited that UIL and TASO worked together to reverse the call and they’re doing what’s right for kids because it is about the kids,” said Whitney Head Football Coach David Haynes, who is also the player’s father. The coach submitted video of the incident to the UIL and TASO after the game.

In a video shared with KWTX, the game official’s hands appear to get tangled up with Haynes’ helmet during a play. The official then pulls the helmet off the player’s head and throws a yellow flag as the player waves his hands in disbelief.

“How is this allowed from a ref!!!!!!! And then you eject MY SON and you literally assaulted him!” the boy’s mother, Karla Haynes, wrote in a Tweet Friday night.

“The UIL is aware of an incident involving a sports official and a student athlete during the Whitney vs. Dallas Madison varsity football game last night (Friday, 9/29). This situation is of great concern to us and we are actively looking into the matter,” the state agency tweeted the day after the game.

The Texas Association of Sports Officials (TASO) on Monday said Trey Haynes, the athlete ejected in the 3rd Quarter after the incident, did a good job of keeping his composure during the incident and recommended to the UIL that it reverse the decision to suspend the player.

KWTX has learned the UIL contacted Coach Haynes to let him know that his son would not have to sit out the team’s upcoming game against Dallas Life Oak Cliff on Friday, Oct. 6.

The Whitney Wildcats are 5-0 after their 56-28 win over the Madison Trojans Friday night.

“We’re just trying to keep our kids focused. We want to continue our run,” Coach Haynes said.