Vikings assistant sits out game

Published October 31, 2006

Northeast assistant football coach Jay Austin was suspended for Monday's game as the St. Petersburg Police Department investigates his role in a locker room altercation Friday with senior Eric Terrell, assistant principal Ty McCraw said.

McCraw would not comment on Austin's status as teacher at the school.

Terrell filed a report with the police department late Friday night, saying he was "grabbed and picked up for no reason" by Jay Austin, son of head coach Jerry Austin, during a team meeting.

Jay Austin has said he merely defended himself from the 18-year-old, whom he said elbowed him in the throat and ribs.

As of Monday evening, no charges had been filed. Earlier in the day, police took statements from Terrell and witnesses. Terrell's family hired an attorney, Darryl Rouson, who asked Northeast administrators to keep Austin from the sidelines for Monday's three-team shootout for the district title. Terrell, who played wide receiver and cornerback, no longer is on the team.

Northeast principal Patricia Wright did not return phone messages left Monday. Coach Jerry Austin declined to comment.

Northeast travels to play Seminole on Friday in the team's regular-season finale.

- Times staff writer Bob Putnam contributed to this report.