Football coach guilty in Union County sideline takedown

Defense attorney Dan Sikes (left) shows jurors a video of Newberry football coach Geronnie Rollins’s interaction with Union deputies. Also pictured (right) is Assistant State Attorney Bruce Helling.

A Union County jury convicted a Newberry High School football coach of three misdemeanors after a day-long trial in Lake Butler Wednesday, Sept. 7.

Geronnie Rollins was charged with trespassing, resisting an officer without violence, and interfering with a school function for his conduct during an Oct. 29, 2021, high school football game at Union County High School.

Union County deputies said Rollins refused to leave the game after officials ejected him and then resisted deputies’ efforts to escort him out of the stadium. Deputies ultimately took Rollins to the ground and handcuffed him before releasing him to Alachua County law enforcement custody.

Rollins’ defense attorney Dan Sikes told jurors that a press box video recording of the incident shows that when Deputies Travis Rimes and Andrew Johnson took Rollins to the ground, the defendant was already walking toward an exit.

Assistant State Attorney Bruce Helling used the same recording to argue that Rollins told officers he was not leaving and slapped at Rimes’s hands before the officers detained him.

More on this story later from the Telegraph-Times-Monitor.