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Kyle Williams, coach of the youth football team the Conshohocken Golden Bears, could face a $500 fine.
The team was up 30-0 during a game when a 5-year-old scored a touchdown, putting the team up more than 30 points and breaking a league rule.
Williams' brother-in-law, Torrey Smith, criticized the potential punishment in a tweet that went viral.
A local youth football coach faces a possible suspension and fine after his team blew out an opponent, violating a league rule in the process.
The potential punishment is sparking debate as well as support for the coach thanks to his brother-in-law, a former Philadelphia Eagle.
Kyle Williams told NBC10 he knew he was dangerously close to breaking the rules Saturday morning when his youth football team, the Conshohocken Golden Bears, went up 30 to 0. The rules of the Keystone Sports League, which features kids no older than 7 years of age, prevent a team from going up by more than 30 points.
"Less than two minutes left I called a timeout because I wanted to pull the starters off the field," Williams said. "I put kids in there who normally never played."
When one of the second stringers, a 5-year-old boy, got the ball he ran toward the end zone as Williams ran along the sideline and repeatedly yelled for him to fall down. The boy still scored however, putting the team up 36 to 0.
Now Williams is facing a possible $500 fine and a 2-game suspension.
"I have three sons," Williams said. "I'm not gonna tell my son, especially if he's running the ball, 'Don't go out there and give it your all.'"
The issue likely would have gotten little attention if not for Williams’ brother-in-law, former Eagle Torrey Smith. In a viral tweet, Smith criticized the punishment, calling it an example of “building weak children.”
The possible fine sparked a big debate among coaches and parents with some finding it acceptable and others agreeing with Smith and even offering to help Williams pay the fine.
Coaches in other leagues told NBC10 the rules are in place to prevent injury and embarrassment for the losing team.
The president of the Conshohocken Golden Bears executive board told NBC10 the board does not condone Williams' choice to run the play. He also said it's possible the punishment could be handed out to Williams when he goes to a league hearing in the next few weeks.
Video courtesy of Vizion Event Management