Hazing incident results in Florida head coach fired, student-athletes suspended

August 23, 2023 / Athletic AdministrationCoachingFootball
A Central Florida high school football coach has been fired after a video of the football team participating in hazing events surfaced.

Viera High School was the subject of a hazing scandal that prompted a school investigation that resulted in the head coach being fired and student-athletes being suspended.

hazingA recent story from WESH.com detailed the events that led up to the coach’s firing as well as the aftermath.

Below is an excerpt from the WESH.com story.

“We’re not about canceling the season. That’s not the goal. That’s not why we had the meeting tonight,” Superintendent Mark Rendell said.

He assured parents the football season was on pause, not canceled.

“The meeting was to ensure that we can move forward with the right protocols in place, with the right education and training in place to make sure what happened last week does not ever happen again,” he said.

He said two things need to happen for the season to move forward: the culture and climate of the team need to change, and their investigation into the incident needs to be completed.

“That could be fairly quickly but may not be,” Rendell said.

Part of the process will start Tuesday when all players will participate in an online anti-hazing program. Coaches will receive some education and training too.

“The parents were supportive of going through the training and doing the right thing before we came back. I didn’t know how that was going to be taken,” said Matt Susin, the chairman of the school board.

Susin says the coach has been fired from his coaching position but remains in his role as a PE teacher. He was afraid parents might push back on the coach being removed.

“Because that would have been a big indicator that we did have a culture problem,” Susin said. “But there wasn’t any of that. Every one of the people that were in here today said we understand what happened, and it was horrible.”

The district says no decision has been made on whether or not the team will play Friday’s game which is the first of the regular season. They’re aiming to finish the investigation into what happened Wednesday.

To read the full story from WESH.com, click here.