Two Huron High students suspended for hazing

HURON A Huron High School basketball player claims he was pinned down and punched multiple times by
Cory Frolik
May 24, 2010



A Huron High School basketball player claims he was pinned down and punched multiple times by two older teammates last month at basketball camp.

In response to the hazing allegations, Huron school officials suspended the pair of upperclassmen from school for more than a week when classes resume in the fall.

But the two athletes and their parents appealed the disciplinary action, claiming the school district should hand down a more appropriate punishment.

One athlete's father said the punishment was selected when the allegations of hazing first arose, but since then many of the claims have proven untrue. The father said his son admits to giving the sophomore a punch in the leg but nothing more.

"We're not contesting the fact that the boys were guilty of horseplay, and they admitted to that," the father said. "But the original punishment, which was quickly determined without all of the information, we felt it was too severe for what they had done. If they are not endangering anybody, why keep them out of school?"

The Hancock County prosecutor's office confirmed it is not filing charges against the players. Prosecutor Ben Hall declined to speak about the case.

On June 26, while the basketball team was staying at a Red Roof Inn in Findlay, attending a two-day camp at the University of Findlay, the sophomore claims he was grabbed by two Huron High School seniors who then struck him in the body and genitals during two separate incidents, a police report states.

Additionally, the sophomore claimed on the van ride to Findlay, players were "shoving pop bottles in between each others clothed buttocks and grabbing of genitalia," the police report states.

But through interviews with players and coaches, authorities concluded the allegations were more serious than what really happened, Findlay police said. They determined the incident was essentially horseplay.

One student said he witnessed the sophomore get "charlie horses" on his legs and arms from the older players. The student did mention the sophomore looked in pain when he returned to the room.

But nearly everyone else interviewed said the older athletes were just messing around and not throwing serious punches, a police report shows. They also told police the sophomore never acted as though he had been beaten up -- in fact, numerous people said he was laughing along with everyone else.

The father of one of the suspended boys said his son and the other upperclassman did punch the sophomore in the leg, which deserves punishment. But he said keeping them out of the classroom does not fit the offense.

A woman who answered the phone at the home of the sophomore hung up on a Register reporter.

This incident comes on the heels of a case of bullying at Willard High School.

Two wrestlers there were found guilty of disorderly conduct for touching the genitals and rectum of a younger athlete.

A third wrestler was found guilty of the same violation for sitting naked on the younger teammate's chest and putting his genitals in the boy's face as someone else snapped a photograph.