Referee Charged With Attacking Coach

Wednesday, February 14th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. (AP) — A basketball referee was arrested and charged with assault after trying to knife an assistant coach in front of parents and 7- and 8-year-old players.

Another coach intervened and was cut, needing 17 stitches at a hospital.

The referee, working a game Tuesday night at Spring Hill Elementary School outside Atlanta, was identified as Oliver Wood of Newnan.

On the school playground, police later found a 3-inch pocketknife they believe was the weapon.

Coach Jerry Sweeney said he was grabbed by the throat and cut on the arm when he stepped in to keep the referee from attacking the assistant. Wood apparently was angered by the assistant coach questioning his calls during the game, Sweeney said.

``I was just trying to keep him from getting at the other coach,'' Sweeney told WSB Radio in Atlanta. ``If I hadn't gotten in the way, there's no telling what could have happened. I was close enough he didn't get me that bad.''