PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — The grandson of Jack Nicklaus — one of the nation’s top football recruits — was suspended for two games by Florida officials for making an obscene gesture toward the stands after a game in Ohio.
Nick O’Leary, a tight end for Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer in Florida, could have faced as much as a six-week suspension for an "unsportsmanlike act," the Florida High School Athletic Association said Thursday.
O’Leary was disciplined after Dwyer played Cleveland Glenville High on Monday, a game Glenville won 26-22. Television replays showed Dwyer, the reigning Florida Class 4A champions, twice scored what should have been a go-ahead touchdown in the final moments. Replays of a third possible touchdown on a quarterback sneak were inconclusive.
The suspension was first reported by the Palm Beach Post.
The newspaper said Dwyer coach Jack Daniels planned to have his team forfeit the two games instead of playing without O’Leary. However, that would make Dwyer ineligible for state tournament play if it qualified, the FHSAA said Thursday. The FHSAA declined further comment because Dwyer has not canceled either of its next two games.
Late in Monday’s game, officials ruled a Dwyer receiver was out of bounds and not in the end zone on the first debated play, despite replays showing otherwise. The other two plays were runs near the goal line, including one on the final play of the game.
O’Leary gestured as his team was leaving the field. Television cameras captured the act and have replayed it.
O’Leary had nine catches for 152 yards in the game with a touchdown. He’s considering Miami, Florida State and Alabama, among other schools.