Amid ‘Waterboarding' Allegations, Pa. District Cancels High School Football Team's Season

The season ended prematurely Thursday for one of the premiere high school football programs in Pennsylvania amid allegations of hazing.

Police say the hazing at Central Bucks School District in Doylestown appeared to be a type of "waterboarding" and school officials say another was sexual in nature.

The school announced the cancellation of all remaining Central Bucks High School West varsity and junior varsity games moving forward including this Friday's homecoming game against archrival Central Bucks High School East and the season finale against William Tennent High School on Halloween.

The hazing at the school included a requirement that rookies grab another player's genitals while fully clothed, an initiation that was carried out in front of most team members, Superintendent David Weitzel said.

Weitzel said the activities did not result in physical harm "but were not harmless."

All junior varsity and varsity coaches at the Doylestown, Pennsylvania school were also immediately suspended.

“Based on all available, verified information gathered from an ongoing internal investigation into allegations of improper conduct by numerous Central Bucks West football team members, and the failure of the coaching staff to properly supervise activities, swift and firm action is absolutely necessary,” said Weitzel in a statement released Thursday afternoon.

The hazing appeared to be a type of "waterboarding" where seniors would place towels over the head of younger players then send them into the showers, according to Central Bucks Regional Police.

Police also said that one of the younger players was held down while his hair was shaved off.

Police said so far there appears to be no indication of criminal activity.

Weitzel apologized to any football players subjected to the “demeaning actions of fellow players who should have served as role models.”

He also mentioned that “hazing and/or initiation ceremonies” are strictly prohibited in the district code of conduct.

“There will be no exceptions when it comes to compliance,” said Weitzel. “Team-building activities cannot be permitted to spin out of control and become hazing.”

The district said that allegations of hazing going back to the preseason first came to light on Oct. 14 and that Thursday’s action was taken after several days of interviews with members of the team and coaching staff.

CB West has struggled to a 2-6 record (1-4 in the Suburban One Continental league) this season. The CB West Bucks were a powerhouse in the 1990s as they won four state championships -- the 1999 championship inspired the move The Last Game.

Current Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine played quarterback at CB West under his father, Mike Sr., and served as an assistant coach for the Bucks for five seasons (1988-1992). The elder Pettine coached the Bucks for 33 years and retired following the 1999 championship at the winningest coach in Pennsylvania history with a 326-32-4 record.

The school's most famous dropout is Alecia Moore, better known as the singer Pink.

The cancellation of the CB West season comes weeks after allegations of hazing at New Jersey high school football powerhouse Sayreville came to light.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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