High school football coach arrested, charged with battery after hitting player on sideline

An Atlanta high school football coach has been arrested after physically assaulting a player.

The incident happened during Saturday’s football game between Benjamin E. Mays High and Douglas County High in Atlanta, which was live streamed over the weekend by local station Peachtree TV. The broadcast showed a Benjamin E. Mays assistant coach strike a player in the stomach on the sidelines, which resulted in the player doubling over in pain.

Atlanta News First identified the assistant as Carl Sledge.

On Tuesday, Atlanta Public Schools confirmed to USA TODAY Sports that Sledge was arrested on simple battery charges following the incident. The school district added that Sledge was a “lay coach,” described by the Georgia High School Association as a “community coach” that doesn’t work at the school or hold any professional certifications.

“A lay coach for Mays High School, who is not a classroom instructor, was taken into police custody after an incident that occurred on the sideline during the school’s game Saturday afternoon against Douglas County High School,” Atlanta Public Schools said in a statement to USA TODAY Sports. “Video from the live broadcast of the game appears to show the lay coach physically assaulting a player.”

In the video, Sledge can be seen yelling at a player as Benjamin E. Mays High was up 12-0 over Douglas County at the end of the first quarter. The verbal reprimand turned physical when Sledge struck the player in the stomach. Sledge was escorted off the field by police, according to Atlanta News First.

“The safety and well-being of all APS students remains a high priority for the district and all APS employees are held to the highest standard of conduct and professionalism,” Atlanta Public Schools added.

Benjamin E. Mays High ended up losing the game to Douglas County 48-42.

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