Warren County coach David Daniel suffered fractures around his cheek, nose and eye that will require major reconstructive surgery during an assault following the Screaming Devils' 21-2 victory over Hancock Central last Friday night in Sparta. The Augusta Chronicle quoted Daniel's wife Monday who said the injuries were sustained on the right side of the coach's face. According to the Chronicle, the Warren County Schools Superintendent Carole Jean Carey requested that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation look into the matter but that request was denied by the Hancock County Sheriff's Department. A representative from the Hancock County Sheriff's Department would not comment as to whether the incident was being investigated.
According to the Chronicle, several witnesses have stated that a Hancock Central player hit a Warren County player with a helmet outside of the locker room before the player turned and struck Daniel.
Assistant coach Jim Turner is serving as the acting head coach while Daniel is away from the team. Daniel was released from the Medical College of Georgia Hospital over the weekend.
The GHSA has asked both schools to give an account of what transpired according to WJBF-TV.
GHSA spokesman Steve Figueroa said the organization is waiting until authorities finish their investigation before they can get involved. "We will monitor what happens and then act," said Figueroa. However, the GHSA cannot rule on this issue due to the fact that it took place after the game and off the field of play. "It is similar to a fight in the lunch room," said Figueroa.
The only thing the GHSA could rule on is if the host school, in this case Hancock Central, were to be found guilty of not providing a safe atmosphere for the game. In this case, the GHSA could either fine the school or put the school on probation, possibly being ruled ineligible for the playoffs.
Stephen Black is Managing Editor of Score Atlanta and Fletcher Proctor is Assistant Managing Director at Score Atlanta, a full service Atlanta-based sports marketing company and media partner with GPB Sports.