A youth basketball coach in Thousand Oaks was sidelined after grabbing an official in what appears to be a chokehold during a game for pre-teen boys.
Video of the confrontation caught on camera Saturday at the Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks shows the coach clutching the official by the throat after two swift technical fouls. Another official appears to intervene to break up the scuffle.
The coach of the Cavs Youth Basketball team of 10-year-old boys was suspended, then later relieved of his duties with the program, the league’s founder said.
“I did speak to the head of the program,” said Chris Balasinski, head representative of the referees union. “He did confirm they suspended him immediately. Within 24 hours he was terminated.”
Get Southern California news, weather forecasts and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC LA newsletters.
NBCLA has blurred the faces of the men involved and is not naming them. No arrests were reported.
“We are encouraging him to press charges,” said Balasinski. ‘If we don’t, that sets a bad precedent. There should be legal repercussions for assaulting anybody. Especially in the violent manner it happened.
“We referees still remember the purity that’s supposed to be in youth sports. We remember it that way. Parents and coaches approach it in a more business-like mindset. That’s where there’s a clash.”
Get Los Angeles's latest local news on crime, entertainment, weather, schools, COVID, cost of living and more. Here's your go-to source for today's LA news.
The official was not seriously injured.
The founder of the Cavs Youth Basketball program said action against the coach was taken immediately. Darryl McDonald said he was out of town Saturday when he began receiving texts and calls about the altercation.
"We as a youth organization do not condone nor will we tolerate this behavior by anyone in our organization," McDonald said. "We have been providing a quality youth basketball program for over 30 years in our community."
He said he spoke with he coach, who confirmed what happened. The coach was suspended Saturday, then relieved of his duties Sunday after further investigation. McDonald said.