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Football Team Forfeits Games Amid Hazing Allegations

An Indiana high school football team is forfeiting its second game of the season amid hazing allegations that led to the suspension of several of its players.

Wood Memorial High School in Oakland City, Ind., will not face Tecumseh on Friday night, according to an announcement made Tuesday by East Gibson School Corp. Superintendent Mike Brewster. Wood Memorial also forfeited its season-opener last Friday against Princeton (Ind.) Community High.

Oakland City Police Chief Alec Hensley told the Princeton Daily Clarion an investigation into the alleged hazing that was reported on social media is underway. It could take “a few weeks” to conduct multiple interviews, Hensley said, putting the remainder of the season in jeopardy.

“From what we understand, it was hazing that went a little too far,” Hensley told the newspaper. “It’s not just hazing, though. There is a game that they play called ‘What’s the Odds?’ It seems that’s where most of this stemmed from.”

The “What’s the Odds?” game is similar to “Truth or Dare.” A woman told Evansville (Ind.) TV station WEVV that seniors targeted freshmen on the team, alleging sexual assault of at least one player.

According to MaxPreps.com, Wood Memorial has 23 players on its roster. Princeton Community High football coach Waylon Schenk told the Daily Clarion that after the suspensions, he was informed that Wood Memorial was left with only 11 players eligible to play.

Related: HS Seeks Recovery from Hazing Scandal with New Staff

In his statement, Brewster apologized to Tecumseh for the decision to forfeit Friday’s game, saying East Gibson is a “positive and safe environment emphasizing cooperation, trust and a commitment to improvement.”

“The administration, faculty and staff are committed to provide an environment that is conducive to learning without the disruption of unacceptable behavior,” Brewster said in the statement, as reported by the Evansville Courier & Press. “The East Gibson School Corp. has great students, who deserve the best each day. We are determined to fulfill that commitment.”

The mother of a Wood Memorial football player who runs the Trojans Moms Club said she is heartbroken over the allegations.

“I don’t want people to think I defend the actions of the children,” Kimberly Jarboe told Evansville TV station WFIE. “I do not condone the actions. I want people to understand in order to get out of this we have to support all of the kids involved, all the parents, the school. My kids are my life. And I just feel like, if this had been one of them, whether they were the victim, or the child that did it, I wish the media would be there for those kids and not all of the negativity.”

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