Nashville high school football coach sued for allegedly 'clotheslining' a referee

Coaches are not permitted to stand on the field during live play

A high school referee is pursing legal action against a football coach for allegedly "clotheslining" him during a game in August.

Referee Trae Cardwell said he ended up in a hospital four days due to the incident. 

Cardwell was officiating a game between Maplewood High School and Hunters Lane High School in Nashville when he was allegedly clotheslined as he ran down the sideline in the second quarte

Caldwell noted that he was making his way down Hunters Lane's sideline to officiate a punt.


Football in grass

Referee Trae Cardwell is suing a Nashville high school football coach  (Fox News)

The Tennessean obtained video showing a referee, presumably Cardwell, running the field and eventually colliding with a coach as the coach pointed toward the field.


Coaches are required to stay inside a buffer zone during live play. They are also restricted from walking onto the field during a game. In the video, the coach appears to be standing outside the coaches' designated area.

The official is seen rolling over to his stomach while his hands are on his head almost immediately after the collision.

Skyline of Nashville, Tennessee

Skyline of Nashville (Adina Olteanu via Getty Images)

According to a postgame report, Cardwell was provided with time to gather himself following the Incident. He was able to officiate the remainder of the game.

placeholderThomas was not ejected from the game, but his team received a 15-yard penalty. 
Football and football helmet on gridiron

Referee Trae Cardwell is suing a Nashville high school football coach (Fox News )

Once Cardwell got back home to Lexington, he had trouble breathing and was transported to the University of Kentucky Medical Center's intensive care unit, where he stayed four days receiving treatment on his injured trachea, Kerrick said.

Cardwell claims in his suit that Thomas and his employer, Metro Nashville Public Schools, were negligent. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, and Cardwell is seeking more than $75,000 in damages.

Thomas could not be reached for comment.

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