Hazing News

Hazing or horseplay?

6 Columbus players suspended for alleged hazing

Six varsity baseball players from Christopher Columbus High School have been suspended from the team in the wake of an alleged hazing incident during a trip to South Carolina to compete in several games there.

School administrators say they are trying to get to the bottom of what happened when a bunch of students broke curfew and got rowdy.

”Why they were disciplined is because they broke curfew, there were kids jumping on top of kids, wrestling with kids, shaving cream and that type of stuff,” said Brother Patrick McNamara, the school’s principal.

Minutes earlier, baseball coach Joe Weber denied anything had happened.

”I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Weber told a Herald reporter who asked the coach to explain the incident. Weber abruptly hung up.

Columbus administrators characterized the incident as “pranks.”

Columbus said in a prepared statement Thursday evening: “Weber reported to the school administration that several players had broken curfew and engaged in team pranks during the trip.

“School administrators have investigated the alleged incidents by talking to players involved and many of the parents and coaches who were accompanying the team. In regard to the team pranks, at no time has any inappropriate physical contact been reported by any of the students involved or parents.”

The suspended players were disciplined for ”curfew infringement” and “violation of team and school rules.”

”For me hazing is always upper classmen against under classmen, and it wasn’t like an initiation of team players,” McNamara said. “It was a mix of junior varsity and varsity players. . . They should have been in their rooms. That’s the issue. They should have stayed in their rooms.”

By Hank Nuwer

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His current book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer is a former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird and former managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily-- and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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