Americans are passionate about football, especially in a state like Alabama. But two high school coaches took their rivalry a little too far when they came to blows after a game last Friday.
Cullman High School had just eked out a 13-10 victory against Walker High School in a bitter game replete with penalties. The loss came down to a 6-yard run in last 18 seconds.
Forgoing traditional post-game handshakes for an all-out brawl, Walker coach John Holladay and Cullman defensive coordinator Matt Hopper traded punches on the field. Players, coaches and players rushed to stop the fight and Hopper emerged from the melee with a bloodied, swollen face and ripped shirt.
While Cullman declined to take any administrative action against Hopper, saying that all its employees "acted with class and dignity during the situation," Walker placed Holladay on indefinite leave.
On Tuesday, Jasper City Schools announced that Holladay had resigned.
"We truly understand the passions that are involved in competitive athletics, but we can never allow those passions to cross the line and become unsportsmanlike in nature," the Alabama High School Athletics Association said in a statement.
"This is an isolated incident, and is not indicative of the good sportsmanship demonstrated by the more than 10,000 coaches in our state each day."