Just as his father was a solid football player in his day, Tampa (Fla.) Berkeley Prep linebacker Joe Schiano has emerged as a strong contributor in his first year at the school. The son of the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers recorded 11 tackles and a fumble recovery in helping Berkeley jump out to an undefeated 5-0 mark in its first five weeks.
Now, he'll be spending the remainder of the regular season on the sideline for doing something that his father almost surely would have given him an earful of criticism for: He cursed at a referee.
As reported by the Tampa Tribune and a handful of other sources, Joe Schiano was handed a six-week suspension by the Florida High School Athletic Association because of an incident in which the younger Schiano allegedly directed a profanity at a referee during Berkeley's 31-19 victory against Lennard (Fla.) High. The over-the-line utterance drew an ejection which fell under the guidelines for an FHSAA's Class 2 suspension, which carries a six-week ban from all action. Other actions that typically fall within those bounds are hitting or making threats to an official or excessive physical contact on an opponent.
Still, upon further inspection the younger Schiano's comments may have come under rather more innocuous circumstances than one might image. According to the referee's report which was filed by a West Coast Officials Association member and obtained by the Tribune, Schiano's profanity came after a late hit penalty against a Berkeley player on a down where a Berkeley player may also have been the victim of a similar act himself.
"As the play was blown dead there was action to my right that I did not see the entire play where a Berkeley player went down. At that time he returned to his feet saying something about did you see that hit? I was still occupied with gathering the info of the late hit out of bounds. At that time he look at me & said 'What kind of [expletive] call was that?' At that time the next flag was thrown for his ejection."
Schiano appealed the suspension, but the FHSAA rapidly rejected that appeal, leaving the linebacker with little option but to sit out the remainder of Berkeley's regular season in hopes that it eventually reaches the state playoffs.
The suspension will give the younger Schiano a bit more time to spend around his father's football team when he's not sitting in class. Still, given the reason why he isn't on the football field himself, Joe Schiano may want to avoid potential opportunities for his father to criticize his cursing habits at all costs.
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