Tenn. prep basketball players charged with rape in hazing

December 30, 2015 / Athletic AdministrationBasketball
Three Tennessee high school basketball players have been charged with rape in the alleged hazing of a freshman teammate, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

BasketballHoopThe report indicates that as many as three other Ooltewah High School student-athletes may have been hazed during a road trip to an area tournament. The team was renting a cabin, and the alleged incident took place three days before Christmas.

The three boys have been dismissed from the team. They face charges of aggravated rape and assault.

From the article:

One freshman was seriously injured when a pool cue was forced inside his rectum, puncturing his colon and the tip of the cue breaking off in his bladder, multiple sources told the Times Free Press. 

After the assault, the boy’s coach drove him to Leconte Medical Center, and hospital staff then informed the Gatlinburg Police Department that an assault had taken place at the rental cabin, according to the Gatlinburg Police Department.

After receiving some treatment the boy returned to the cabin, where his condition worsened. An ambulance was called to transport him to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville where he underwent surgery, police said.

The details are brutal, but they illustrate why schools must take hazing seriously and do everything in their power to make sure incidents like this don’t take place. The school’s athletic director said the coach did nothing wrong and all proper procedures were followed, but police are investigating the incident. It’s hard to believe the program and supervision during road trips won’t be scrutinized during the process, and hopefully the freshman student will recover from his injuries.

In a separate incident, three Indiana student-athletes face battery charges related to a hazing incident during a summer football camp. This article notes that the alleged incident took place in June and there may have been as many as 10 victims.

We’ve covered hazing at length — prevention strategies, policy creation, supervision tips — and we can’t emphasize enough the seriousness of these situations. Parents entrust schools with their children, so teachers, athletic administrators, coaches and principals all have a responsibility to keep kids safe. It’s everyone’s duty to make sure proper, effective procedures are in place.

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