Quebec hockey coach suspended 10 years for punching teen player
André Harvey tells disciplinary body he regrets his actions, Hockey Quebec says apology not enough
A Saguenay, Que., hockey coach who punched a 16-year-old during a brawl last weekend in a Midget A game has been given a 10-year suspension.
André Harvey was one of two coaches and three players who were involved in the fight.
Video obtained by the CBC's French-language service showed the brawl involving several players in the final seconds of a Saturday night game between the Chicoutimi Cougars and the Jonquière Pumas.
A referee trying break up the fight was knocked down and players are shown striking him while he was down.
With players fighting near the Jonquière bench, Harvey throws a punch that appears to strike a 16-year-old Chicoutimi player in the head. Three players and two coaches were handed suspensions earlier this week, but the length hadn't been determined.
Hockey Quebec says coach violated principles
Harvey told the Quebec Ice Hockey Federation's regional disciplinary committee, which met Thursday night to discuss the case, that what he did was wrong and he regrets his action.
Jean Côté, the father of the teen who was hit during the brawl, had called for a lifelong suspension of the coach.
Hockey Quebec previously said the league only issues suspensions for a fixed time period.
On Friday, it issued a statement saying an apology isn't enough. It said the coach had a responsibility to set an example and that his behaviour violated the basic principles of amateur coaching.
"A coach has to know that he plays a crucial role at all times and has great influence on the people around him," the statement said. "He must play an educational role with respect to his players and show respect in his demeanour. This action went against the principles we look for when a coach gets involved in a sport, in any sport."
Côté said his son chose the Midget A league because he wanted to play non-contact hockey. He had suffered nine concussions while playing in other leagues.