(WJAR) - The coach of a Providence, Rhode Island, youth football team is fired and his team kicked out of its league after he put a young man believed to be at least 18 years old into a game against 13 and 14 year old children.
Parents took pictures as they spotted the young man in question putting on a uniform on the sideline during the game in Scituate over the weekend.
He suited up at halftime for the Capital City Buccaneers who were losing. He went onto the field and took part in several plays before getting kicked out.
“I was more furious and embarrassed and ashamed that they did that,” Buccaneers founder Alexandra Diaz told NBC 10 News. “The coach told me it was his decision. It was his mistake. He feels sorry.”
Diaz said she fired the coach and ended the team's season as a result. She said the illegal player is the older brother of a player on the team.
Diaz told NBC 10 she had stepped away from the game for a few minutes when the incident happened.
“If I was there, that would never ever happen because safety of these kids is more important to me than anything. That's not how I run my program,” Diaz said. “It hurts me, it hurts the community, (and) it hurts the children because a lot has been ripped from them.”
When NBC 10 spoke with Diaz, she had not yet gotten word that the Rhode Island Pre-Teen Football League decided to permanently ban her team.
“It's a safety issue obviously,” league vice president Nelson Pedro told NBC 10.
Pedro was at the field for the incident because he's also the president of the opposing team, the Tri Town Titans.
“It's pretty serious,” Pedro told NBC 10. “It's basically a grown man going up against seventh and eighth graders -- 13 and 14 years old. We're certainly extremely concerned when a child could have easily gotten hurt if we hadn't recognized it pretty quickly.”