Arguing calls with referees is something that all athletes, both amateur and pro, do all the time. But during a soccer match in Dearborn, Mich. last summer, recreational player Bassel Saad took an altercation with a referee to a dangerous level when he punched John Bieniewicz as he prepared to hand Saad a red card and eject him from the game. The punch ended up killing Bieniewicz—and resulted in Saad getting charged with involuntary manslaughter.
Earlier today, a judge handed down a ruling in Saad's case. She sentenced him to at least eight years in prison for punching and killing Bieniewicz and revealed that he could serve as many as 15 years before he's freed. The incident has forced lawmakers in Michigan to consider putting new laws on the books to deal with athletes who assault referees during sporting events.
Saad expressed remorse for what he did after he was sentenced to jail. But his crime was obviously very senseless and has turned into a very sad situation.
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[via ESPN FC]