Marlin ISD superintendent, coach and team at KISD, reprimanded and suspended by UIL

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File Photo(Josh Auzenne | WAFB)
Published: Nov. 14, 2022 at 2:07 PM CST
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AUSTIN, Texas (KWTX) - The University Interscholastic League’s State Executive Committee on Monday morning issued suspensions against Marlin Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Darryl Henson; and against Harker Heights High School Head Boys Basketball Coach Celneque Bobbitt, and the Harker Heights High School boys basketball program, in another case.

Henson received a two-year suspension from sideline access and game administrator duties at school district events for a violation of Section 51(a)(3), School District Personnel Violations. The superintendent also received a public reprimand and will have to serve two years probation, the UIL said.

According to the UIL website, Section 51 (a)(3) involves an “ejection from contest or receipt of two 15-yard penalties in football during one contest.”

Henson confirmed to KWTX the suspension is related to an incident that happened when the Marlin High School football team played Crawford High School this season. Henson said there was an issue with the game clock and he felt like his school’s head coach was being ignored by the referees. After talking to the sideline judge, Henson walked onto the field to speak with the head referee and was immediately ejected.

Marlin Independent School District Superintendent, Dr. Darryl Henson (Marlin ISD photo)
Marlin Independent School District Superintendent, Dr. Darryl Henson (Marlin ISD photo)(KWTX)

The superintendent said he will unapologetically support his students and staff, and sometimes, that may come with repercussions.

“When issues arise that negatively impact students in the Marlin Independent School District, I have an obligation to speak up and protect them. As the superintendent, it is my ethical duty to ensure that students’ playing fields are fairly level, literally and metaphorically,” Henson said in a statement emailed to KWTX, “Despite the decision made by the UIL, the focus shall remain on our student-athletes and coaching staff for their commitment to our community. As a district, we will continue to use discernment, advocacy, and courage when it comes to protecting our students, faculty, and staff.”

In the Killeen Independent School District case, Bobbitt was issued a one year suspension, three years probation, and a public reprimand for violation of Section 1206(f)(1), School Practice and Game Restrictions.

The UIL website states Section 1206(f) involves the prohibition of off-season school team practices, and strength and conditioning. “School teams shall not practice outside the specific allowable practice dates except during the one in-school day practice period. (1) Off-season SKILL activities before or after the school day or during the lunch periods are specifically prohibited,” the code states.

The Harker Heights boys basketball program was issued three years probation and a public reprimand for the same violation as coach Bobbitt, the UIL said.

KWTX spoke with Killeen ISD Executive Director of Athletics, Micah Wells, who said the school district self-reported the violation to the UIL and the punishment imposed against the coach and the team was expected.