Football: Neshaminy coach reacts to suspension

Neshaminy School District officials have suspended longtime Neshaminy football coach Mark Schmidt for one game for grabbing one of his players by the jersey in a contest last week.

Schmidt will not direct practices this week or be on the sideline for Friday night's Suburban One League National Conference game at Bensalem. He said he can resume his coaching duties Saturday.

Neshaminy principal Rob McGee and athletic director Tom Magdelinskas did not return phone calls seeking comment.

Schmidt came under fire for his action following a personal-foul call in the second half of last Friday's 21-14 win over visiting Council Rock South.

"The support I've had through this whole process - from friends, fellow teachers and coaches, and players - has been amazing," Schmidt said. "I'm pretty blown away by it."

Did the 18-year boss think the suspension was justified? "I don't want to get into that and take the attention away from my coaches and players," he said. "They're getting ready for a big game against Bensalem."

Moving forward, will Schmidt try to change his coaching style? "I guess the phrase 'old school' is something you have to reevaluate," he said. "That's the way things are these days."

Schmidt said the last few days "have been horrible. There have been a lot of rumors out there. You can't let it make you go crazy."

-Rick O'Brien

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