The father of one of New Jersey’s top high school football prospects claims that he son was punched in the face by one of his own assistant coaches during a post-practice brawl, according to NJ.com.
Charles Hardy, the father of four-star Paramus Catholic (N.J.) defensive end Dorian Hardy, claims his son was struck in the face by Paramus Catholic assistant coach Michael Mitchell after he “came to the aid” of a teammate who was involved in a skirmish in a school hallway after the conclusion of the team’s practice. One of the other players involved in the altercation was Mitchell’s son.
Hardy and one of the other players involved in the fight, senior running back Jonathan Clark, have both left Paramus after being suspended for their involvement in the incident. Mitchell has also allegedly been suspended by the school while an investigation is ongoing.
“It’s a travesty that Coach Sabella didn’t stand behind his players,” Charles Hardy told NJ.com. “I feel as though he threw his players under the bus. Most coaches stand by their players. They want the best for these young men. You don’t do that by throwing them under the bus. These kids have potential scholarships at risk now.”
Hardy has committed to play at Penn State while Clark is committed to Central Michigan.
The fight is the latest low point for a proud program that was competing for a national title in the Super 25 just two seasons ago. The Paladins fell to 2-4 with a blowout, 43-7 loss to Pope John on Saturday. That game came a day after the fight and suspension of Hardy, Clark and Mitchell.
The school continues to deal with the incident internally, per the spokesperson for the Newark Archdiocese, which has oversight of the school.
“We’re always concerned about the safety of students,” Archdiocese of Newark director of communications Jim Goodness told NJ.com.