A high school in Maine has fired its head varsity football coach and subsequently cancelled the final three games of the team’s season after reviewing the results of an investigation into allegations of team hazing.
Brunswick High School this week announced the firing of head coach Dan Cooper after it was revealed that a player on the team was “held down and a dildo [sex toy] was put in his mouth” while at a football retreat in August that included parents and coaches.
According to a report on the incident, 36 of the 39 Brunswick players were interviewed about the incident. Coaches and a parent that stayed overnight at the retreat at Thomas Point Beach were also interviewed. Texts, emails and four videos of the incidents filmed by students have also been collected by investigators.
Brunswick superintendent Phil Potenziano said in a letter posted to the school department’s website that Cooper is no longer affiliated with the athletic department.
"After very careful deliberation, we have concluded that we cannot safely field a team and continue playing contests for the remaining three games of the season," Potenziano said, according to the local NBC affiliate.
While the team’s remaining games, as well as homecoming, have been cancelled due to the hazing incident, Potenziano said that he and his staff are still looking at ways to provide ways for students to gather and practice together.
"Athletics and extracurricular activities can play a crucial role in our students' lives and help shape our students' character. For this reason, we are actively evaluating how we may be able to hold some practices, light intrasquad scrimmages, or provide some opportunities for students to use the weight room or come together as a team," he said. "I have directed Athletic Director [Aaron] Watson to give this careful attention in the coming days.