The pandemonium surrounding an enormous postgame fracas in California was so enveloping that one head coach was ejected from the game during the melee … and didn’t even realize it until the following day.
As reported by the Long Beach Press-Telegram, Lakewood head coach Jimmy Nolan was ejected following a football game when he confronted game officials about the lack of a call against a Millikan player who was caught on camera kicking Lakewood receiver Victor Bates in the face after his helmet popped off during the game. Nolan and an official began arguing ferociously, and Nolan eventually had to be separated from one of the officials.
That’s when Nolan was ejected, though he had no idea it had just happened. Instead, he was told that he had been kicked out the following day by his school’s athletic director, an act that he insists he will appeal so that he won’t be forced to sit out the team’s next game on Friday.
Instead, Nolan insists he is proud of his players for keeping the incident from spiraling further out of control.
“The eye in the sky don’t lie,” Nolan told the Press-Telegram. “I’ve very proud of my team that it didn’t escalate into a more serious situation on the field. If I we’re that age and saw it happen, I don’t know if I could’ve held back. And my kids did.”
The Lakewood response comes days after the school was attacked for the actions of Bates’ family, one of whom entered the Millikan locker room and allegedly attacked four players.
There’s no excusing that kind of behavior, though there is no excusing the actions of the unnamed Lakewood player in question, either. All of that makes for a truly unfortunate incident in Southern California.