COLUMBIA, SC — A SEC sideline official is in critical condition after being hit with a coaching headset thrown by South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier shortly before halftime.
The incident took place following an intentional grounding penalty in the final seconds before halftime in tonight’s game against Texas A&M. Spurrier was seen throwing his headset in reaction to the call, hitting line judge Paul DiMarco in the head.
“We all are aware of Spurrier’s tendency to throw headsets and visors during games. Seasoned officials maintain a good distance from the coach,” SEC head of officiating Steve Shaw tells us. “This is Paul’s second year and first time calling a South Carolina game. He never saw it coming. It hit him and he dropped faster than the Gamecock’s ranking.”
DiMarco remained unconscious on the field as the teams went into the locker room for halftime. He was then transported to nearby Palmetto Richland Memorial Hospital where he is listed in critical condition.
Coach Spurrier refused to issue a statement after hearing the news during halftime. A&M coach Kevin Sumlin expressed his sympathy for DiMarco.
“I feel terrible for DiMarco, he has done an amazing job in the two games of ours he has officiated,” Sumlin says. “I am just glad there are 55 or so yards between myself and Spurrier. He may have won a Heisman, but I can assure you no one on that side of the field can throw that far.”
SEC commissioner Mike Slive says he plans to suspend Spurrier from 2 games for the assault, keeping in line with the standards set by the NFL