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Jason Schmitt is the editor of, the high school sports website for The Oakland Press. He has served as the sports editor for a number of newspapers, including the Daily Tribune in Royal Oak and the Macomb Daily in Mount Clemens. In his time in the industry, he has covered every high school sport and has served a a beat writer for boys and girls soccer, boys and girls tennis, hockey, wrestling, bowling and cross country.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Assault is assault, no matter where it takes place

On Wednesday, a judge dismissed charges against four Star International Academy football players who allegedly attacked a Lutheran Westland quarterback in the final minute of a game played back in October. Lutheran Westland was leading 48-6 at the time and the referees had informed both teams that the Westland QB was going to take a knee to run out the clock, and to take it easy.
Star International Academy players did not grant that request, instead the four players who were eventually charged with assault, decided to go after the quarterback. They hammered him into the ground, causing him to suffer a Grade III concussion - the worst.
Now the judge (Mark Plawecki) said "Whoever authorized these charges have apparently never watched a football game, let alone played." He went on to explain, "the game was over, the referee said to take a knee. But teams do not ordinarily take their orders of how to play out a game from the referee."
No, but any respectful and responsible player does listen - or take orders - from referees. Those who do not obviously have no respect for their opponents, the game or in this case, the law. Since when does the fact that this taking place on the playing field absolve these players from facing the severe consequences that should come with such actions?
This young man from Lutheran Westland didn't deserve this. There was obviously intent to hurt him. In everyday life if you or I take part in a scuffle in which we knock a person unconscious, we're going to face the consequences of our actions. I guess we just have to make sure we do it in the athletic arena.

For more coverage of this story, CLICK HERE.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the judge. Refs are there to officiate, not dictate plays. If the QB decided not to take a knee up 48-6 with under a minute remaining, then that's rubbing it in and he's supposed to get hammered. If you say assault is assault no matter where, then we might as well kiss the NFL and NHL goodbye and throw them all in prison. Maybe flagrant fouls in the NBA should come with a 30 day jail sentence. Aren't you the same guy that tried to sensationalize the Walled Lake hazing incident? How did that work out? One would think you'd learn. Guess not.

April 5, 2012 at 4:40 AM 
Blogger Jason Schmitt said...

Interesting you mention that "Anonymous." Similar situation in that both the victims suffered concussions due to blows to the head by bigger, stronger football players. Based on your response, I'd guess you are privy to what happened in the WLW situation. Because anyone who accuses us of "sensationalizing" that situation knows that we did anything but that. The actual details of what happened that night have not come out, yet.

April 5, 2012 at 1:38 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the first commenter. It's sports. Man up Jason, or sit home reading romance novels and knitting sweaters. Speaking of WLW, stop being such a pool noodle.

April 5, 2012 at 9:30 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a coach if those 3 kids did that they would never see the field again for me and I would be the first one in the court room to explain to the judge that what they did was indeed assult. The kids should have been penalized some parole and community service in the end would have taught them a life lesson. Instead we just sent the message hey what you did was ok because it was a part of the game...I am sorry when a team is taking a knee and you hit the qb...let alone 3 guys hit excuse. You can stand by some tough guy image and say it was part of the game...that is not part of the game, it is cheap and it is an action for losers!

April 11, 2012 at 9:45 AM 

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