Umpire arrested during junior high baseball game


Derek Bryant (Photo: Priceville Police Department)

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PRICEVILLE, Ala. – Sports fans have been known to sneak alcohol into games. But this case, it’s a baseball umpire that is accused of putting liquor in his water bottle.

Now, he’s facing a public intoxication charge after Priceville Police said he drunkenly called a junior high game on Monday night.

“From my understanding they confirmed there was alcohol in the water bottle,” said Morgan County Schools Superintendent Bill Hopkins.

Hopkins went on to say, “I wasn’t even sure that it wasn’t a joke when I first heard it. And then to have it confirmed was completely shocking”.

Police took 24-year-old Derek Bryant into custody on the public intoxication charge Monday evening.

“We’re disappointed that happened and we’re going to continue to do everything we can to make sure the students are in a safe environment,” said Hopkins.

Bryant is not an employee of the Morgan County School District. He works for the Greater Huntsville Umpire’s Association.

“They assign individuals to the game. We have no knowledge of who the individuals are until they arrive. And typically we don’t even know names. They’re given umpire numbers,” said Hopkins.

He said the district is contact with the umpire association and believes it is taking the situation seriously.

“We hope this is an isolated incident. We’re obviously watching very closely how the association handles it,” Hopkins said.

The Morgan County School District has a contract with the Greater Huntsville Umpire’s Association.

Hopkins said the board will take this situation into account when it comes time for contract renewal. However, he said he likes to think on individual does not reflect an entire association.

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