Four players, two coaches and a trainer from Harbor College may face disciplinary action as a result of scuffles during a community college football game at Bakersfield College last Saturday.
Harbor officials would not discuss details of the investigation, pending completion of a report expected today. But according to witnesses at the 47-10 loss to fifth-rated Bakersfield:
- Defensive line coach Daryl Henderson challenged Harbor lineman Kevin Johnson to a fist fight on the Seahawk sidelines.
- Three players were ejected from the game for fighting. One was thrown out for an illegal hit.
- Offensive line coach Jim True was involved in a heated shoving incident with trainer David Lew as Lew attempted to help an injured player on the field of play.
“I have requested a written report of the incidents,” said Harbor President Jim Heinselman. “It is possible that disciplinary action could take place depending on (what the report says.)”
In the first quarter of the game against fifth-ranked Bakersfield, Harbor (1-3) was penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct when Henderson went on the field to protest an official’s call. Henderson then walked behind the Seahawk bench and threw his hat, striking a cheerleader in the leg. Later, according to two sources, who asked not to be identified, Henderson became involved in a shouting match with Johnson. According to a source, Henderson threatened Johnson with his fists and Johnson motioned Henderson to hit him. A scuffle occurred and they were separated by Harbor players.
The shoving match between True and Lew broke out as Lew attempted to treat injured offensive tackle John Taotoai. According to witnesses, True shoved Lew as Lew knelt over the injured player, and Lew retaliated by shoving back. The pair continued to exchange words on the field, according to Bakersfield Coach Carl Bowser.
On Tuesday, Coach Chris Ferragamo did not mention the incidents during an interview with a reporter. About the players ejected, he said: “Four players were kicked out at the end of the game. They were pushing and shoving in the last two minutes . . . . I don’t know what was going on. . . . I think what happened is that maybe we were getting the short end of the stick. They (the officials) only threw our guys out of the game. They didn’t get any of their guys out of the game.”
Officials at Bakersfield said that one Renegade player was also thrown out in the melee that occurred in the final minutes.
On Wednesday morning, Seahawk Athletic Director Jim O’Brien initially said he would not comment on the events. When pressed, O’Brien acknowledged: “We are taking disciplinary action but it’s in-house right now . . . . We’re not going to make it public.”
In a follow-up interview Wednesday afternoon, O’Brien denied all of the events took place.
A late hit by a Harbor player on the Bakersfield kicker, which resulted in the Harbor player being ejected, has been aired on a Bakersfield television station as part of a local football highlight show.
“We were kind of shocked about everything that happened,” said Bowser. “I think what was happening is that they were frustrated. They played darn well in the second quarter and they thought they could (come back and win in the second half).”