A pushing and shoving match between Redskin wide receiver Frank Grant and a member of the Potomac High School faculty during an exhibition basketball game ended Friday night with Grant decking the teacher with one punch, according to a number of witnesses at the game.
The incident occurred with about 50 seconds left in the game between members of the Redskins and the Potomac faculty. The game was played for the Potomac pom-pon group. The Redskins were to have been paid the standard $100 per man but no fees were paid after the incident.
According to Richard Blanchard, vice principal of the school and the man in charge Friday night, Grant and Robert Carlson, a biology teacher and the school's baseball coach, had been pushing and shoving for several minutes.
"The Redskins were pretty much in control for three quarters," Blanchard said, "but they had only brought five men and we had 10. They were beginning to tire and we had closed the lead to one point with 53 seconds left.
"Grant and Bobby were pushing back and forth and then Grant threw one punch. I guess he was tired and things had become emotional. When it happened I immediately went onto the court and ended the game."
Grant could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Carlson said he was playing "aggressive basketball," and added, "He shoved me and I shoved back. Then we looked at each other. I thought he was turning away and I started to turn away.The next thing I knew I saw stars. I thought someone else had come up and hit me from behind.
"It was unbelievable. I know there are a lot of disillusioned kinds today. There must have been 400 people in the gym."
Carlson, who is about 5 feet 8, 155 pounds (Grant is 5-11, 180), said, "No comment," when asked if he would press charges.
Harold McLinton, playing on the Redskin team with Grant, Charlie Taylor, Brig Owens and Mike Bragg, said he never saw a punch thrown.
"I was at the other end of the court when it happened," McLinton said. "Frank and the guy had been shoving back and forth. When it happened the vice principal came out and stopped the game.
"I guess he stopped it because he felt what had happened wasn't in good taste," McLinton added. "We apologized before we left, but it was really no big deal."
The Redskins play frequently at charity events, usually bringing 10 players and charging their hosts $100 a man. The basketball team is independent of the NFL fooball franchise.
Blanchard said yesterday he understood that emotional outbursts do happen in athletic events, but he was "shocked and disappointed" by the incident. He also said he intended to contact Redskin Coach Jack Pardee.
"For almost the entire game the spirit of both teams was just great," Blanchard said. "I didn't think Grant's attitude was out of context with anyone else's. It just happened suddenly."
Carlson said Grant made no attempt to talk to him after he was knocked out and he did not try to talk to Grant.
"If he didn't want to say anything I wasn't going to go near him," Carlson said.
"I'm not crazy."