OTC: Should HS Football Protect Crimminal Acts On The Field? / MU & Ole Miss = A Dandy

Prosecutor Eric Zahnd believes an incident during a high school football game crossed the line into criminal activity.“Colin W. Byrd, 17, of Kansas City allegedly twisted the helmet off a Winnetonka High School player during a third-quarter play that ended with the two players tumbling out of bounds, court records said. Byrd then hit his opponent in the head with the helmet, the records say. Prosecutors charged Byrd with misdemeanor assault. The 17-year-old victim still has concussion symptoms, including nausea and memory loss, that have kept him from returning to school since the Oct. 18 game, Platte County prosecutors said. He did not play the rest of the season, which ended Nov. 11.”
Glenn E. Rice and Christine Vendel, writers, on the Platte County R3 football player charge with assault, Kansas City Star
GH: Getting charged by the police for assault in a high school football game is beyond unusual – but is it wrong? Is an ejection from the game and a 15-yard penalty penance enough for allegedly hitting someone in the head with their own helmet? Read on.
“I don’t believe what happened on that football field that night was football. What happened there was not part of the play. It is our allegation that it went beyond the game of football and became an assault.”
Eric Zahnd, Platte County Prosecutor, Kansas City Star
GH: Zahnd and his office are treating this like a crime investigation – which I think all parties involved should welcome. Let’s find out if Byrd is truly guilty of this heinous act. If he is, the high school gridiron should not protect him from prosecution. If he is not, he deserves to be exonerated by the same media that is vilifying him.

“These types of incidents go on all over. You have soccer players in St. Louis punching each other. There seems to be a witch hunt against the sport of high school football. I don’t think a 17-year-old should be charge for an incident that happened in a game. I have a problem when the legal system steps into sports because what kind of a Pandora’s Box have we opened? Are we now going to get the prosecutor involved in everything that happens in a game?”
Jay Binkley, 610 AM
GH: Binkley doesn’t seem to be concerned about whether or not Byrd committed this act or not. He simply thinks that if it happens between the lines of a high school athletic event, let the rules of the game handle his punishment. Why should a high school uniform allow a criminal act to go unprosecuted? This does not go on “all over.” And when we discover incidents like this, those of us who love high school athletics should be the loudest advocates of squashing this kind of bestial behavior. There is no place in any amateur sporting event for intentional assault – especially swinging a helmet at the unprotected head of another athlete. It’s just barbaric.  

“If you want to suspend him or put him on the highway picking up trash, alright. But he shouldn’t be sitting in jail for a year… The legal system and sports, man. I’ve never been a
Jay Binkley, 610 AM
GH: Binkley just doesn’t understand how his comments are hurting the game he loves. If Byrd is guilty – and I don’t know any more than most – he needs to be prosecuted, sentenced and treated like a criminal. Otherwise, high school football becomes a sanctuary for madness.

“Win two games and (Mizzou) is in the SEC Championship game.”
Steven St. John, with MU’s upcoming games at Ole Miss and their home finale against Texas A&Manziel, 810 AM

“There have been a lot of unusual games in the SEC this season where Missouri could have shown up with their C- game and still won.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Is the SEC as easy as KK likes to tell us it is? If MU brings their C- game to Oxford Saturday night, they are going to flunk football this semester. I believe KK’s taunts at the quality of play in the SEC diminishes what MU and Gary Pinkel have accomplished in their second year in the conference – which is extraordinary.  

“It’s going to be our last game at home. It’s going to be senior night. It’s going to be a sellout crowd. And it’s going to be loud. You guys haven’t been on the west side of the (SEC) conference yet. You’re getting ready to find out what that’s all about this weekend when you get in here.”
Harry Harrison, former Ole Miss player and current Rebels’ color analyst, in an interview with The Border Patrol on 810 AM
GH: Anyone who thinks this game at Ole Miss is a walkover for Mizzou has been listening to too much KK. If MU does spank Archie’s old team it is a testament to just how good these Tigers are this season – and in no way slight’s the talent that Mississippi has gathered in Oxford. This one should be one helluva SEC struggle.  

“We don’t have wide receivers as tall as Missouri but we’ve got some tall lanky receivers that can go get it good.”
Harry Harrison, 810 AM
GH: Harrison has that beautiful Mississippi southern accent and intonation that just smells like football. Even over the radio.

Tailgating at the Grove in Oxford, Mississippi -- home of Ole Miss“Downtown Oxford is absolutely one of the finest college towns in America.”
Harry Harrison, 810 AM
GH: If I was single and stupid, I would be taking Friday off and heading to The Grove. Unfortunately for my wife, I am merely the latter.

“I was thinking about this team this morning when I was taking a shower. I love this team.  I love every team but this team’s been special.”
Gary Pinkel, in an interview with Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: I have to admit, Evan Boehm has never crossed my mind while I was in the shower…

“That bye was good for us. This bye came at about as good as you can get a bye. It was a good spot to have it for us. The biggest thing for us was to get away from the physical part of it but also the mental part of it. The mental grind you go through in preparation to play your best game is significant.”
Gary Pinkel, 810 AM

GH: Let’s see what Pinkel can do with his perfectly positioned bye week. I cannot wait to watch this game Saturday night.

“If this team is going to be successful, Dwayne Bowe needs to get better.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: I am starting to be concerned that Bowe has gone Jack Nicholson on the Chiefs – in As Good As It Gets. Signing Bowe may prove to be John Dorsey’s first major blunder. He doesn’t appear to be anywhere near the receiver he once was.

“Only primetime TV shows that had more viewers than Broncos-Chiefs game: Super Bowl, Academy Awards, Grammy Awards.”
Darren Rovell, @darrenrovell, Twitter

[email protected] and Twitter / @greghall24

About Greg Hall

Software guy who has been writing my Off The Couch column in KC newspapers, publications and websites since 1994. Has been bounced from some of the finest media establishments this side of State Line Road. Dad first and everything else second...and there are a lot of everything elses.
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18 Responses to OTC: Should HS Football Protect Crimminal Acts On The Field? / MU & Ole Miss = A Dandy

  1. PV_Pathfinder says:

    Binkley is an ignorant caveman. He’s absolutely clueless as to how the world operates outside of his very limited existence.

    • Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

      Binkley is just a blithering idiot. Ripping someone’s helmet off and then attempting to smash their skull with it is borderline attempted murder. Jesus, that could kill someone.

      • E.Jack Hewlett says:

        Jay Binklley would have given Todd Bertuzzi a 5 minute major for smashing Steve Moore’s face into the ice after breaking his neck.

        • Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

          Binkley needs the “McSorely Treatment”, and then he can tell us how the courts shouldn’t get involved. What a jackass.

  2. Orphan of the Road says:

    Getting into a fist fight is different from using a helmet as a weapon. It seems this young man needs a dose of reality in his life.

    Should he spend a year in jail? Hard to say without seeing how it occurred but perhaps spending five-years on probation with the possibility of having it expunged might be reasonable if he is guilty.

    Listening to parents at football, basketball, lacrosse games yelling and screaming at the kids, telling them to take off somebody’s head isn’t an isolated incident anymore. Not for many years.

    Binkley is right about it happening all over but oh so wrong about sports being above the law. This isn’t some dustup which happens in the heat of such moments. It was a brutal and cowardly attack.

    • Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

      As a man who has two stepdaughters that play competitive softball, and witness to their biological father getting routinely ejected from at one or two games a year, I can tell you that the worst thing about youth sports at any level is THE PARENTS!

      • Jim says:

        Guy, I had 10+ years of competitive softball with my girls. JMO…but you will not find a WORSE sport for A-Hole parents in any other sport.

        • Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

          +1. Jim, I feel your pain. More than once my step daughters have been so humiliated and embarrassed by their biological father’s actions, they hung their heads in shame and refused to speak to him and urged us to drive them away from the fields as soon as possible.

          • Orphan of the Road says:

            My sons played lacrosse in middle school for the local youth group. Also baseball and one year (6th grade) the baseball coach told my boys they had to choose which sport. The schedules/practices did conflict but the baseball teams were all township kids and didn’t play outside teams.

            The league president told the coach to back off, the program was for kids and not coaches.

            The coach’s son was a real good pitcher. But he was such a jagoff that kids kept quitting. My sons kept playing and the team reached the finals.

            Their coach was in charge of getting trophies. So confident his team would win, theirs was the biggest of the four trophies.

            Well they lost and the coach’s son threw the trophy on the ground and told his dad how embarrassed he was because of his actions.

            Always thought parents should be barred from games, tongue not so firmly in cheek.

        • Bend over KK says:

          Softball is the worst sport for parents in my opinion. It’s slow paced at times, and the weather is hot. Parents don’t like the coach putting the kid in RF or batting 9th and they go apeshit!
          It’s also a white trash parent magnet.
          My daughter’s have played it for 16 years.

    • Mike says:

      It’s tough to lay absolute judgment without seeing video of the altercation (assault), but if the writing is accurate, those actions fall way outward from a football play. The determining factors being A) it occurred off the field, and B) an instrument was used for assault outside of its intended purpose.
      If this was a fracas on the field where punches were thrown, then it’s governed by the playing rules.
      I think the ultimate question here is whether there’s grounds for criminal charges, beyond the rules that govern behavior within the sport. Based on the description above, and absent any other corroborating information, video or other evidence, the kid could very well get charged. But I won’t lay the ultimate judgment; I’ll leave that to those whose task it is to gather everything neede to make that call.

  3. Husker Floyd says:

    As much as my longstanding hatred is for Mizzou, I can’t help myself to root for them at Ole Miss. These traditional SEC homers act like nothing exists outside their little hemisphere. Poor Mizzou just doesn’t know what it’s like to play in a tough environment. Good grief, get a hold of yourself, Ole Miss. I’m 43 and you’ve not been relevant nationally in my lifetime.

  4. Jack Wagon says:

    Hey Greg just a small correction, 810 got rid of Fescoe once and I doubt very seriously they would take him back so you might want to attribute the Fescoe quote to 610 not 810.

  5. Kerouac says:

    “Are we now going to get the prosecutor involved in everything that happens in a game?”

    – just ‘criminal’ conduct; in what section of the football operational manual is said found’?

    “These types of incidents go on all over.”

    – if such incident occurred in the competitive environs the office or any venue outside of oh, say ‘professional’ wrestling), would we refrain calling it assault (just a part of the (office) game?)

    “You have soccer players in St. Louis punching each other.”

    – everybody’s doing it/thus makes it ok, right? No, x2…

    “I don’t think a 17-year-old should be charge for an incident that happened in a game.”

    – since a reference is made to age of accountability (guess we can ask the law help assist our plea long as it’s not legally by way the DA) I don’t think a 17 year old should be held an lesser standard than an 18 year old – or a 16 year old that matter… opinions vary.

    “I have a problem when the legal system steps into sports”

    – Binkey appears to be elevating sports ‘above the law’, because it serves his take perhaps; I have a problem when “just boys being boys” mentality is plead try excuse said…


    From frying pan to fire, back to mere needling regards sports (as opposed assault upon physical sensibilities)…

    “Only primetime TV shows that had more viewers than Broncos-Chiefs game: Super Bowl, Academy Awards, Grammy Awards.”

    – if the Broncos competition had been better (like that found Academy & Grammy, usually), Sunday Night Football might’ve topped them all. As it happened, watching 9-0 go down was perfect enough… so much for the NFL’s best team’.

  6. Reformed Tradition says:

    When Mizzou first came to the SEC, it was told it couldn’t compete. Now some folks are saying, wait until you start playing the SEC West teams. Is Oxford a tougher venue than Athens?

    Ole Miss is a fine team, but it is exactly the kind of opponent a championship team should handle.

  7. Rick Reston says:

    This has been a dream season for Mizzou and the Chiefs. Both had absolutely patsy schedules filled with cream puffs and now both will learn what it is like playing with the big boys. The Chiefs have already learned and it is now time for Mizzou to begin its annual choking.

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