-- The Texas high school assistant football coach who allegedly ordered his players to "take out" a referee during a game earlier this month has resigned -- but maintained that the referee had used a racist epithet during the game.
Mack Breed, an assistant coach at John Jay High School in San Antonio, resigned, but maintained that the referee used a racial epithet against one of his players, according to a statement from his lawyer James Reeves.
According to Reeves' statement, Breed said one of his players heard the referee say during the game on Sept. 4, "Throw the f------ ball at me again n-----."
"As a black male, nothing offended Mack Breed more than being called a racial epithet except someone in a position of authority calling his players racial epithets," Reeves said of his client in the two-page statement. "The slur was heard by multiple players, some of whom were not involved in the hit."
Reeves says in the statement that “Coach Breed let his anger get the best of him and he made some regrettable comments” but that “Mack never intended for the kids to hit or hurt the referee.”
However, according to a signed statement released Wednesday by John Jay High School principal Robert Harris, Breed allegedly told the team’s coach, Gary Gutierrez, that he had “directed the players to strike the referee.”
The referee, Robert Watts, has denied through his attorney that he used any racial slurs.
"In hindsight, Mack feels that he could have handled the situation better. For that reason, Mack has submitted his resignation and will move forward taking responsibility for his role in the events that occurred. Mack never intended for the kids to hit or hurt the referee, but the result was the same. While Mack is moving forward, others have yet to accept responsibility for their roles," Reeves added.
Reeves noted, "Mack still has not seen any evidence of an investigation into the racial comments reportedly made by Watts."
Earlier today, a disciplinary hearing was held by the state's University Interscholastic League. At that hearing, Northside Independent School District superintendent Brian Woods confirmed Breed was no longer an employee of the district at a meeting of the University Interscholastic League.
The two players, Michael Moreno and Victor Rojas, did not attend the hearing today, nor did Breed.
The students, who were suspended from school for three days, told "Good Morning America" that they regret tackling the referee.
"In a desperate act of self preservation Breed continues to reveal his character as he disgracefully attempts to throw a student under the bus for following the very directions Breed gave him," said Jesse Hernandez, a lawyer for the students. "The record is clear that Mack Breed admitted to Coach Gutierrez and Principal Harris that he did in fact direct student-athletes to hit referee Watts."