Monmouth County

NJ High School Suspends Football Coaches Amid Alleged Hazing Investigation

A state playoff game scheduled for Friday was also canceled and the team forced to forfeit, the district superintendent announced, while no decision has yet been made about a Thanksgiving game

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Fallout continues to grow at a New Jersey high school that has been rocked by disturbing hazing allegations surrounding the varsity football team.

Three coaches for the Wall High School football team have been suspended, sources told NBC New York, including head coach and business teacher Tony Grandinetti. He and two others were placed on administrative leave, source said, while an investigation is underway.

Friday's state playoff game was also canceled, the district superintendent announced on Wednesday, a forfeit for the Crimson Knights. No decision has yet been made about a Thanksgiving turkey bowl game at Manasquan. A Nov. 16 school board meeting may determine the fate of that game, which was slated to be the final game of the season.

The punishment for the students and coaches comes after an allegation that a sophomore was hazed with a broomstick by multiple upperclassmen on the team. Attempts to talk with Superintendent of Schools Tracy Handerhan at her office on Thursday regarding the suspensions were unsuccessful. After waiting several minutes, security told News 4 that she would not be talking, and moments later two Wall police officers arrived.

One of the reasons for the suspensions, NBC New York was told, is a rule that states coaches are supposed to supervise all activity in locker rooms.

"Upon becoming aware of the allegation, we immediately contacted the appropriate authorities. There is a pending investigation and the school district is cooperating fully," a school district spokesperson told News 4 in a statement on Wednesday, declining to comment further on the investigation that is being handled by the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office.

The allegations, first reported by NJ Advanced Media, involved approximately six football players in the locker room who parents say attempted to pin down a younger teammate while one of them held up a broomstick, allegedly threatening to sexually assault the boy with it.

The parents who spoke to the news outlet said they saw the attack in one video clip but claimed there have been other incidents. News 4 has not independently viewed the footage and it's unclear what the incident, or incidents, occurred.

The school district would not say whether the student was physically harmed or whether the students involved in the attack faced any disciplinary action. In addition to cancelling the upcoming football game, Superintendent of Schools Tracy Handerhan said she immediately contacted law enforcement who are now handling the investigation.

In a statement to News 4, the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office said it cannot confirm or deny any details of the investigation because juvenile records are confidential by nature.

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