A statement was released Monday, detailing more information about why the Hoffman Estates High School varsity basketball team was disciplined for behavior that violated hazing policies and the code of conduct for student-athletes.
The statement from Nancy Robb, District 211 superintendent reads:
On the afternoon of Friday, November 30, 2012, the boys’ varsity basketball coach received notice following a team gathering that took place off-campus and without coaches’ supervision alleging that the basketball team engaged in an initiation process that included physical and sexual misconduct.
Upon learning of the report, the administration immediately made a call to report the incident to DCFS and notified the Hoffman Estates Police Department. The administration from both Hoffman Estates High School and the District 211 Administration Center organized a systematic and comprehensive interviewing and information-gathering investigation. The investigation was conducted and coordinated by a total of 15 school personnel (including the District Superintendent and the school principal); nine of whom directly conducted interviews that included all 14 players and the coach.
The information gathered within the investigation revealed that the sexual misconduct initially reported did not occur. DCFS determined that they would not pursue the report and would take no action. However, the information revealed that players had engaged in a clear pattern of initiation behaviors that violated the District’s hazing policies and the student-athlete code of conduct.
There were reports that the initiation involved several players piling onto a targeted player and then grabbing, horseplay, slapping, and hitting the targeted player in areas that included the buttocks and sometimes in the groin. The players were clothed at the time of each “initiation” pile-on and the contact occurred on top of the player’s clothing.
Throughout the interviews, students repeatedly stated that the coaches had no knowledge of these initiation behaviors until they came to light on Friday, November 30, 2012.
Disciplinary action against the students was made shortly after the investigation was completed, and included a three game suspension and a requirement for the players to receive training in hazing awareness and prevention.