Local coach suspended for smacking player's helmet
WESTON, Fla. (WSVN) -- Broward school officials have suspended a high school football coach after being caught on video smacking a player's helmet over the weekend.
Monday afternoon, the Broward County School Board announced it gave Cypress Bay Lightning coach Mark Guandolo a three-day suspension from work and a two-week suspension from all athletic activities.
The incident in question happened Saturday during a nationally televised game between Weston's Cypress Bay High and Plantation's Heritage High. Guandolo slapped a player on the side of his helmet. Although the player was not hurt, some called it a case of unnecessary roughness. "I think that should not be allowed. He shouldn't get fired. Maybe disciplined but you have to control yourself in the field," Juandi Yanez said.
Brent Harstad, a former player under Guandolo, thinks the issue is just being blown out of proportion. "It's not a big deal at all," Harstad said. "All the players respect coach G. I'm sure none of the players looked at him and was like 'What is he doing?'"
After reviewing the video, the Broward County School Board issued its recommended disciplinary action, Monday afternoon.
Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert W. Runcie released the following statement, Monday: "Upon becoming aware of the incident during the Cypress Bay football game, I immediately directed staff to look into the situation. In accordance with District policies and procedures, the District will move forward with the following actions regarding Coach Mark Guandolo, which will include a three day suspension from work and a two week suspension from athletic activities. I expect every staff member to adhere to the highest professional standards in every aspect of their interactions with our students," said Runcie.
University of Miami's Head Coach reacted to the controversial slap on the helmet. "It's not appropriate and as heated as it gets, both players and coaches, there is a line that needs to be drawn and that you can't cross," said Al Golden.
University of Miami quarterback Stephen Morris said, "You know, we treat each other like men and that goes the same with our coaches and staff. We would never put our hands on the coaches and the coaches would never put their hands on us."
"Emotions get with him, but I love the guy, and I think he's an unbelievable coach," said University of Miami Offensive Line Coach Art Kehoe.
Guandolo gave the following statement to the Sun-Sentinel regarding the incident. "It's disappointing, and it's not something I'm proud of. I have great respect for the kid. I was trying to get him ready and fire him up. It was his first start ever and emotions were running high. He had people coming at him, and there's no easy way to get him ready for that."
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