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Elk River Football team suspended.


B.R.O.

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Anyone on here have a kid or is a kid on the team? Wondering what the heck happened? News reports say something about hazing? My sons play for the Becker Bulldogs and they are the first opponent of the season. Dont know what to expect now.

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Quote:

Hazing allegation suspends Elk River football program

By PAUL WALSH, Star Tribune

Last update: August 26, 2010 - 8:59 AM

The Elk River High School varsity football program is suspended while school officials investigate a hazing allegation that appears to be "bigger than an isolated incident," a district spokesman said Thursday.

A parent of a player reported to school officials on Wednesday that her son was a hazing victim, prompting about 50 athletes to be interviewed, said district spokesman Casey Mahon.

Superintendent Mark Bezek announced his decision to shelve the program "until further notice" in a meeting with about 200 parents and students Wednesday night at the high school.

"I am shocked and dismayed by these allegations," Bezek said in a written statement. "This district does not tolerate hazing or other unlawful activities."

The varsity program will remain suspended at least until the end of the investigation, which could be as soon as Friday, Mahon said. The investigation not only will look into the actions of student-athletes but coaches as well, he said.

The head coach is Mike Cross, who is beginning his seventh year in that position. He also teaches health education at the high school. Cross was not immediately available to comment.

At this point, there is "enough information to indicate that this is bigger than an isolated incident," Mahon said. "This could've gone back the past couple of years."

Mahon declined to revealed the nature of the hazing, whether it was racial, sexual or in some other manner degrading. But "because the allegation was so serious," an attorney has been hired by the district to conduct a third-party investigation, he said. No one has needed medical attention for any hazing, he added.

"This is about safety and security of our students," Mahon said. "We've got policy. There are the state high school rules, and there is state law. Every kid who comes to our school needs to know that they are safe and secure."

Mahon said that the allegation "has come just completely out of the blue" and that hazing has not been a problem at Elk River.

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Makes me sad being I graduated from ELk River. When I was there it was the football team that was supposed to set a good example. All I know if it was one of my kids doing the hazing I would have no mercy on them.

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I was just commenting on how nice the entire part of the team that was up at Coborn's in Elk River last week when they were fund raising. They seemed very respectful and did not bug you to give money like some teams did from years past. Again, just rumors. I also attended Elk River HS in the early 90's and never remember anything close to this

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They updated the above article. I guess they will most likely be playing next Friday.

Quote:
The Elk River High School varsity football program is suspended while school officials investigate a hazing allegation that appears to be "bigger than an isolated incident," a district spokesman said Thursday.

A parent of a player reported to school officials on Wednesday that her son was a hazing victim, prompting about 50 athletes to be interviewed, said district spokesman Casey Mahon.

Mahon declined to revealed the nature of the hazing, whether it was racial, sexual or in some other manner degrading. But "because the allegation was so serious," an attorney has been hired by the district to conduct a third-party investigation, he said. No one has needed medical attention for any hazing, he added.

Superintendent Mark Bezek announced his decision to shelve the program "until further notice" in a meeting with about 200 parents and students Wednesday night at the high school.

"I am shocked and dismayed by these allegations," Bezek told the gathering. "This district does not tolerate hazing or other unlawful activities."

Bezek added, "This isn't just kids fooling around. This has some very serious implications."

Elk River activities director John Barth said Wednesday night that he doesn't expect the team to miss any games. The season starts Sept. 2 at home vs. Becker.

Barth said all 54 players on the football team were interviewed after he found out about the allegation. He said 15 students who might know more will be called to school Thursday for questioning.

At this point, there is "enough information to indicate that this is bigger than an isolated incident," Mahon said. "This could've gone back the past couple of years."

The varsity program will remain suspended at least until the end of the investigation, which could be as soon as Friday, Mahon said. The investigation not only will look into the actions of student-athletes but coaches as well, he said.

"This is about safety and security of our students," Mahon said. "We've got policy. There are the state high school rules, and there is state law. Every kid who comes to our school needs to know that they are safe and secure."

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Hopefully its the kids parents blowing it out of proportion. Some of the stuff we used to do would probably be considered hazing nowadays, but it was all in good fun and the "victim" always laughed about it. We never hurt anyone or put anyone down. A few charlie horses and a few cars with flour in the air vents that kind of stuff.

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Hopefully its the kids parents blowing it out of proportion. Some of the stuff we used to do would probably be considered hazing nowadays, but it was all in good fun and the "victim" always laughed about it. We never hurt anyone or put anyone down. A few charlie horses and a few cars with flour in the air vents that kind of stuff.

Based on my own experience when my kids played football, it's gone well beyond that these days. Sadly, it's a year-round issue. Not just football season.

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Nooo. The rumor I had posted earlier seems to be holding, but is still the rumor. I pulled because if true will be in the media by this weekend. I would have quit football before letting that happen, or at least go down black & blue with multiple guys beating me. Never, never would I let my kid go through what is being rumored around town by some very firm sources.

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i have also heard a few rumors and man oh man it could be pretty serious for those involved, lets hope they are rumors but kids are taking things way to the next level thats for sure

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I'm gonna take a risk and call shananigans on whatever rumors might be spreading. My guess is the kid is too sensitive (assuming the events were good ol' fashioned hazing, which I believe they were) and the parents are blowing the situation WAAAAAY out of proportion! Throw this story into the "wussification of america" pile.

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I have heard from reliable sources that this is being blown way out of porportion!!!! From what my sources told me there was no penetration or anything of that matter......a couple kids had been held down by teamates and they tap the kid on the butt or back leg with a stick. More of a scare tactic of not knowing what was going to happen. The individuals have always been fully clothed!!!! This is really a shame that this is being brought out to the national media for something so tame to what we are accustomed to hearing about.

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Any type of hazing will not fly with the school or the courts.

Unless everything is false, I would say Elk River has some issues as the courts will get involved.

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I have heard from reliable sources that this is being blown way out of porportion!!!! From what my sources told me there was no penetration or anything of that matter......a couple kids had been held down by teamates and they tap the kid on the butt or back leg with a stick. More of a scare tactic of not knowing what was going to happen. The individuals have always been fully clothed!!!! This is really a shame that this is being brought out to the national media for something so tame to what we are accustomed to hearing about.

Seriously? You're obviously kidding right? Since when is any of this ok regardless if it was a scare tactic or not? They've always been fully clothed? So this isn't the first time? It shows a sick perverted mentality that can and very possibly will or has been escalated at some point.

When do you people think it's time to start taking some of this seriously and say enough is enough. In your mind are some of these kids simply there to be an object of obsession for bullies?

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I grew up in a time of heavy hazing both in high school and in college...I've been on both sides of the situation and at the time it was more of a "passage of rights" than anything. Is it the right thing to do...of course not...but I can certainly understand why it still goes on even in todays world.

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Pier I agree. Foolio lol!

The article was updated once again. Ozzie could be right about this being less than what has been rumored to be. Maybe just all small town gossip like they magnified in an Andy Grifith episode where the men flocked to a shoe salesman thinking he was a Hollywood talent scout.

I have no issue with stuff like Sophomores carrying the Seniors gear and pads off the practice field kind of stuff. If it comes to actual belittling were the hazie feels fear and uncomfortable, like no being on the team or even changing schools, then that to me is not acceptable. For a liability stand point, I think even mild to any hazing has run it's course. Harsh hazing does nothing. Mild to fun style hazing should only be done if the student wants to participate and not because they have to.

Quote:
A hazing incident that forced the Elk River High School varsity football program to suspend practice this week involved some players striking other players with broom or mop handles, a source close to the investigation said Thursday.

The hazing apparently occurred Monday and Tuesday between morning and afternoon practices, the source said. Players entering the wrestling room were accosted, forced to the floor and struck or poked on or near the buttocks. Players were dressed in their uniforms, including padding, and no one was forced to disrobe, the source said. It's apparently the second year such hazing has occurred at the school.

Up to 25 players may have been involved as either victims or perpetrators, but the source said the final number will probably drop once the investigation is completed. Elk River officials said they have hired the Minneapolis law firm of Ratwick, Roszak & Maloney to conduct the investigation.

The program was suspended Wednesday after the parent of a player reported that her son was the victim of hazing.

On Thursday, players filed into the high school throughout the day for interviews with school officials. About 50 athletes were interviewed by phone Wednesday, said district spokesman Casey Mahon.  Team coaches were also to be interviewed Thursday. The coaches, Mahon said, were put on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

Not 'just kids fooling around'

Some players and parents were angry; all refused media interviews.

Meeting with the media at the school Thursday, Elk River Superintendent Mark Bezek said, "a cross-section of the team is being interviewed right now."

Bezek announced Wednesday night at a meeting of football players and parents that football practices were being canceled "until further notice.

"This isn't just kids fooling around," Bezek said. "This has some very serious implications."

The school board will meet in closed session Sunday evening to review the findings of the investigation, Bezek said.

"To me, it's the worst form of humiliation and it's dehumanizing," Bezek said of the hazing.

He and Mahon said they would not describe the hazing.

According to the source, the two initial complaint calls about the hazing came from the parents of black players. District officials soon discovered, however, that white players were also hazed, and that the choice of player victims seemed random.

"It doesn't make any rhyme nor reason," the source said. "Some kids got it last year, but not this year. Some kids got it both years.... Some of the kids that got poked last year are the perpetrators now." The ordeal apparently didn't last long.

"Some people said one poke, other people said a couple. It seemed like it wasn't any prolonged thing." The source said the perpetrators were likely "aiming for the rectum," but that there was no evidence of penetration.

Football season starts Sept. 2

Elk River High School activities director John Barth said Wednesday night that he doesn't expect the team to miss any games. The season starts Sept. 2 at home vs. Becker.

Elk River Police Capt. Robert Kluntz said police are trying to determine whether a criminal assault occurred, but he declined to be more specific.

Kluntz said he is encouraging "parents to speak to their sons, and if they were victims, to give us a call."

The hazing was the big buzz on Facebook among Elk River High School students on Thursday. Students debated the severity of the incident, how many students were actually involved and whether media reports were blowing the incident out of proportion.

"They are making a bigger deal about this than it really is," wrote one student.

Another student wrote that the incident involved a smaller group of the team in the wrestling room with students using broom sticks on other athletes. One football player's Facebook wall was filled with debates over the severity of the situation. When he said he wanted to transfer schools, another student replied to him, "stop talking about it on Facebook before Cross finds out and kills us all."

The head coach is Mike Cross, who is beginning his seventh year in that position. He also teaches health education at the high school. Cross was not immediately available to comment.

The varsity program will remain suspended at least until the end of the investigation, which could be as soon as Friday, Mahon said. The investigation not only will look into the actions of student-athletes but coaches as well, he said.

Mahon said that the allegation "has come just completely out of the blue."

Under the suspension, players are not allowed to use school facilities or equipment to practice. "If they want to [practice on their own], fine," Mahon said. "In terms of their fitness, that's cool."

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Yea Shack I think your right, it has run its course. My youngest is pretty shy and insecure with others at first and I wouldn't allow him to be put into a situation where hazing would even be a possibility.. I have a boy that's a senior and another that's a freshman in the Becker program so I get an up close look at what goes on. I tell you what the boys here wouldn't even think of doing anything like hazing of any sort because they know it would be their last day on the team and just about every boy in the school wants to be on it. Plus I honestly believe the thought wouldn't even be there since nothing like that is ever done. Its the culture here they have cultivated over the years of positivity and pride in the program along with respect for each other no matter the grade. My freshman has a senior mentor that has taken him under his wing that I swear my boy would jump in front of a moving truck for. They keep 9-12 together for most things and the older guys help the younger ones so much its unbelievable. By the time the younger ones are older they are so knowledgeable of the system their now the mentors and they treat the young guys real good like they were treated.

Its no wonder every year more boys families move here just to be a part of it, along with others that live in surrounding towns, Monticello, big lake etc. but go to school here for the football program. It obviously works, look at Becker's record's over the years all while always being the smallest school in their conference every year.

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Zimmerman is smaller than Becker and last year Becker wasn't very good......

LEP7MM- When did I say it was ok? I said it wasn't national media worthy and that it is being blown out of porportion. Hazing of any kind is not right. Who knows what the real story is right now but from what I have been told from guys in the situation that it isn't as big a deal as it is being made out to be. YES they should punish some of the individuals involved but not the whole team and coaches.

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Ozzie yep, Last year was a tough one but also pretty rare..I'll let the numbers speak for themselves

Since 1985 the Bulldogs have made 12 appearances in the state playoffs, advancing to five championship games and winning one title (in 2005).

Since 1977, Becker has finished below .500 only four times! (same head coach since inception)

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LEP7MM- When did I say it was ok?

Your downplay of the situation lends itself to a perception of "big deal" these things happen.

If your source was involved in the situation, I'd say consider your source and their involvement. Then look at it from the perspective of the kids who were on the receiving end.

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Hazing of some sort takes place in every school...in every town...in this country. If you don't think so you're just fooling yourself. It's much like drinking alcohol...they won't do it in front of you...or tell you about it...but you can bet your bottom dollar it's happening. It just comes with the territory.

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It may come with the territory or age group, but that does not mean it should be accepted in any manner.

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How about the Star Tribune sports page and the initiation of shaving heads of the incoming freshman football players...I would say this is hazing.....I was not lessening the situation I was lessening the precieved actions and severity of those actions...It is good they caught on to this otherwise who knows how far this could have gone.

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I was in a college fraternity that was anti-hazing. Our basic definition was that hazing was anything you would feel ashamed to tell the person's mom, the university president, or your pastor/rabbi about. That kept all of our activities pretty light-hearted, in good nature, and open for everyone to see.

Hopefully whatever has been reported/rumored is an exaggeration, because this kind of stuff really doesn't need to happen. It's a caveman mentality that says the only way to build team unity is through experiencing hardship together. I know that it works really well for the military but it's not the only way.

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Shaving heads is one thing, pushing a broom handle at the cornhole is a total different situation.

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Hazing of some sort takes place in every school...in every town...in this country. If you don't think so you're just fooling yourself. It's much like drinking alcohol...they won't do it in front of you...or tell you about it...but you can bet your bottom dollar it's happening. It just comes with the territory.
there was never any hazing when i was in high school, unless you were in band or choir then you just got beat up. but i can gurantee you 1/2 the team was drunk during every game, we had vodka and everclear in some of the water bottles. still don't know why they let us get away with it, theres no way they couldn't of known.
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I would say the only hazing I know of is when you start work as a newbie in a machine shop, auto shop, and of course construction (mainly Union). Maybe some could roll in hunting and fishing when introducing someone new to the sport. Heck, the snipe hunt is a form of hazing people in who are new to staying in the outdoors. I think it is just some human nature thing that is passed down to those who are new to gain acceptance. I am talking about good hazing forms, not bad forms.

How many in here have something they do as a form of a haze to new hunters (I talking adults mainly, but even kids) that come to deer camp for the first time. KP duty was one and I was willing to do it to fit in and gain some respect.

IMO the rumored allegations and even what sounds like the reality of the allegation, in the end should not be tolerated. For one, what is the first thing the school had to do? hire or Either use a retainer that could have went else-wheres for this situation. Just a sign of the times and like Lep said, it is a channel that could lead into other things down the road. Anyone ever watch Dazed and Confused?

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I have heard from reliable sources that this is being blown way out of porportion!!!! From what my sources told me there was no penetration or anything of that matter......

as soon as penetration is mentioned, even if it's only mention is to state that it didn't happen, something went waaaaaaay to far.

sounds like some hazing and a little homoerotic fantasy action mixed up into one.

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I would hope for the sake of the kids involved and the school that these are all false.

Very sick if not.

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