MARSHFIELD, Mass. (MyFoxBoston.com) – Police in Marshfield are investigating a complaint made against a volunteer assistant football coach at Marshfield High School.
As a result of the investigation, the assistant coach, who is accused of being too physical with a player, has been sidelined.
The player's parents reported the incident to police, who in turn, launched an investigation.
According to other members of the football team, the junior player, who is accusing the coach of inappropriate behavior, was fighting with the volunteer coach's relative, a sophomore.
Teammates said the pair, an offensive lineman and defensive lineman, have an ongoing rivalry which came to a head during practice on Oct. 2. The players allegedly continued hitting one another after the whistle was blown.
Volunteer Asst. Coach Chris Leonard jumped in and allegedly grabbed the older player by his shirt; however, it is unclear if he was trying to break up the fight or defend his relative.
"He came out just to try to stop it, but he had his arm up in his neck and he kind of pushed him," Marshfield varsity football player Pat Joyce told FOX 25's Heather Hegedus.
A FOX 25 viewer wrote in and said the coach may have allegedly choked the player.
Marshfield's superintendent released a statement Monday saying in part that, "to the best of his knowledge, the incident did not involve choking."
Parents and members of the team have conflicting views as to whom they believe was in the wrong. Some believe Leonard had no business touching the player while others say he was merely trying to control the situation.
Police said they are waiting for the parents of the player who was allegedly grabbed to decide whether they will press charges against Leonard.
FOX 25 placed a call to Leonard, but his wife answered and would not elaborate.