Brunswick fired its football coach and cancelled the rest of the season in wake of hazing investigation
The Brunswick School Department has fired its high school football coach and cancelled the rest of the football season in the wake of the results of an outside investigation into allegations of hazing and harassment of players.
On Wednesday, Brunswick Superintendent Phil Potenziano announced that former head coach Dan Cooper would no longer coach the team, and that because of the number of players ineligible to play, injured, or removed from the team, he had decided to cancel the remaining three games of the season.
The decision comes about a month after allegations surfaced about alleged hazing, harassment and bullying at a team retreat at Thomas Point Beach in August.
The school department released a report from its legal counsel investigating the allegations on Wednesday. While the findings and conclusions of the report were heavily redacted, the report says that the school was made aware in early September of reports of a player being held down at the retreat, and having a sex toy put into his mouth. Investigators interviewed 36 of the 39 rostered players and reviewed texts, emails and videos.
In the past few weeks, the school has removed several players from the team and had already placed two coaches — including Cooper — on leave.
In an emailed statement, Superintendent Potenziano said that talking about the details of the report will, quote, “most likely cause further harm to the victims” and that the department has a “zero-tolerance policy for hazing, bullying behavior, and harassment.”
"By completing this investigation and taking the appropriate actions, we have demonstrated that,” he said.
Potenziano says that he will be working with administrators, experts and school board members on next steps. The district is also offering counseling and other support services to students.