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A Maine high school terminated its head football coach after launching an investigation into a sex toy hazing incident.
According to NBC affiliate News Center, the allegations stemmed from a team retreat at Thomas Point Beach back in August, when one of the student athletes was allegedly held down while others forced a dildo in his mouth. School officials learned about the situation shortly after, and began interviewing 36 of the 39 players about the incident. They also reviewed emails and text exchanges regarding the matter, as well as analyzed multiple videos of the hazing.
Head varsity football coach Dan Cooper was initially placed on non-disciplinary leave alongside assistant coach Greg Nadeau. However, in a statement released Wednesday, Brunswick Superintendent Phillip Potenziano announced Cooper had been fired from his post and the remaining football season had been cancelled. Potenziano also confirmed a number of students had also been removed from the team.
“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,” he wrote. “We understand that this decision will likely come as a blow to many of our student-athletes and their families, and we regret the circumstances that forced us into having to make this difficult decision. However, we must be guided by what is best for the safety and well-being of our students and the administration, and I believe that this is the right decision.”
Potenziano went on to emphasize the important role extracurricular activities play in a student’s life, so much so he and the school’s athletic director were considering holding football practices and light intrasquad scrimmages for the football team. He also encouraged affected students and their families to utilize counseling services provided at the school.
“Thank you for your understanding and patience as we work through what has been a very difficult time for our football team,” he continued. “I also want to reiterate our commitment to the well-being of our students. There are adults here at school who can offer students and families support—it is essential to reach out if you or your loved one needs it.”
Brunswick Police Chief Scott Stewart also confirmed police are investigating the matter, but have not gotten very far “due to circumstances that are not in our control.”