High School Sports

High School football coach in sticky situation after syrup pouring incident caught on video

Paso Robles High (CA) football head coach Rich Schimke addresses the team during practice. Photo by Travis Gibson 08-18-16
Paso Robles High (CA) football head coach Rich Schimke addresses the team during practice. Photo by Travis Gibson 08-18-16 Travis Gibson tgibson@thetribunenews.com

A California high school football coach has gotten himself into a, um, sticky situation after pouring syrup into a player’s belly button after a recent game.

Paso Robles coach Rich Schimke drew a raucous reaction from his team after a game last month when he poured syrup onto one of his players and appeared to lick it off. But now, he’s been put on paid leave. The San Luis Obispo Tribune obtained video of the incident, and the mother of the player involved said the coach actually licked the syrup while it was in her son’s belly button.

The coach’s lawyer said the coach only pretended to lick the syrup.

The Tribune is owned by McClatchy newspapers, the same company that owns the Charlotte Observer.

The mother of the player, Heather Moscato, said she learned of the incident on Oct. 19, five days after it happened, when she was sent the video. She forwarded the video to a local police department, which determined no wrong doing occurred. The local school district is doing its own investigation.

Apparently this all began after a recent game when Joe Moscato, 17, got a bottle of syrup as part an award given to the offensive linemen with the most pancake blocks, when a lineman flattens a defender.

“(Schimke) put a dab in (Joe Moscato’s) belly button while the whole team and coaches were in the locker room cheering it on,” Heather Moscato told the Tribune. “What my son told me is that he put his tongue in the syrup.”

The coach’s lawyer said the player asked for the syrup to be poured on him and the coach then pretended to lick it off.

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