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High School Ends Football Season over Assault

Andy Berg

A California high school has decided to end its varsity football season after a player was assaulted by four of his teammates.

Gilroy High School announced the decision in a post on its website, saying that both the high school and school district are committed to the football program, but the district recently learned that “most of the varsity players have chosen not to finish the season and therefore, at this time, the season will not continue.”

An investigation into allegations made against members of the varsity football team last week is still in progress.

“We investigated the allegations and determined there was evidence to support a criminal complaint,” Gilroy police Capt. Joseph Deras told The Mercury News Wednesday. “The aggravating circumstance was the number of suspects involved, and the use of force or fear played a role in our arresting decision.”

Details of the assault and the names of those involved are largely being withheld at the moment, however police said that four students “were all issued juvenile citations for sexual battery,” adding that there was “no evidence at this time that this was a hate-motivated crime.”

The accused students have already been suspended from school when they were arrested and were subsequently released to their parents.

Duane Morgan, commissioner of all high school sports from San Francisco to King City, said he couldn’t recall one of his schools cancelling their season.

“We’re kind of on new ground here,” Morgan said. “These are all school-site decisions. They have some real good people at the district level and at the school site, making decisions with the best interest of their situations. They’ve done their due diligence,” Morgan added. “That’s the decision they came up with and, of course, we’ll honor and respect it and we’ll move on.”

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