Colorado HS wrestling coach fired after hazing caught on film

February 7, 2017 / Athletic AdministrationCoachingWrestling
A Denver-area high school wrestling coach has been fired over a hazing ritual that allegedly took place during one of the team’s practices.

Rocky Johnson, who according to The Denver Post was in his first year coaching at Chaparral High School, was first suspended by the school district before it later fired him. The decision came after one wrestler’s parent filmed the hazing of a freshman athlete during a practice in late January. 

From The Post:

The video, filmed by parent Andrew Stubbs, depicts Johnson encouraging a prank called “The Ultimate Sit-Up,” where a wrestler is blindfolded and held down as he attempts a sit-up. The blindfold then is released as the wrestler sits up, face-first, into the naked butt of another wrestler.

Stubbs, whose sophomore son is on the team, said he was helping with drills at practice when the incident occurred. He said he took the video to the school administration Monday, and they suspended Johnson at that time.

The Post reports that after the coach was suspended, he addressed the team in a “tirade” saying that someone was trying to ruin his life with the video. It was after that talk to the team that the district fired Johnson. 

Hazing rituals like this almost always lead to the suspension of students, so it’s surprising that a coach would expect to get away with it. Hazing has become a hot-button issue in recent years, especially when athletes suffer severe or deadly injuries as a result.

Click here to read more from The Denver Post.

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