Football game brawl leads to coach’s arrest

Ken Kemp

OLDSMAR, Fla. (WFLA) – A Tampa Bay area football coach is accused of grabbing his rival, who has a learning disability, and slamming him to the ground. Ken Kemp is the head coach of the semi-professional Tampa Bay Sharks.

The incident happened Saturday night at Canal Park in Oldsmar. Kemp allegedly grabbed the man, team manager for the North Pinellas Decepticons, and slammed him to the ground.

The melee was caught on tape.

“Aw oh, there they go. There they go,” the woman recording is heard saying. “What the hell man?”

The Tampa Bay Sharks and the North Pinellas Decepticons went at it.

“This man’s disabled,” a combatant is heard shouting in the video. That’s referring to Decepticons team manager, Michael Farnham. In the video, you can see Farnham being pushed to the ground.

Pinellas County deputies arrested Kemp.

Coach maintains his innocence

But Kemp insists video that he provided to News Channel 8 shows he didn’t grab anybody. “I feel bad if anything, anybody got hurt. I don’t condone this at all,” he said.

Kemp said he never touched Farnham.

Michael Farnham
Michael Farnham

”Footballl is about family. It’s not about fighting. If you want to fight, go to the UFC and fight in a cage,” the coach said.

The accused coach believes he’s being singled out wrongly. ”I’m made out to be this monster and I’m really the peacemaker in all this,” he said.

Coach Kemp plans to go over the tape frame by frame and identify his players that threw fists – and kick them out. There is a chance Kemp could pull the plug on the entire season because of this fight.

He’s charged with felony battery, which would normally be a misdemeanor but because he has a prior battery on his record, it is bumped up to a felony.

Meanwhile, Farnham said he knows exactly who grabbed him as he was trying to break up a fight. “The head coach for the Tampa Bay Sharks grabbed a hold of my horse collar and then pushed me down to the ground, unfortunately,” he said.

The video shows Farnham up and moving. He was left sore, he told News Channel 8, but okay.

The video also shows more fighting. “Stop! Stop! Oh my God! Are you frigging kidding me?” the woman recording screams.

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