Hazing News

Ohio high school takes action against four more players

Tim Rogers
Plain Dealer Reporter

Four more Tallmadge football players have been suspended from school in connection with a hazing incident that took place at the high school in August and resulted in the arrests of two minors on rape-related felony charges last week.

The names of the four students suspended on Friday were not released by the high school. The suspensions were for 10 days and will be accompanied by a recommendation for expulsion. Each was charged with a misdemeanor.

“This is just a terrible, terrible situation for our entire community,” Athletic Director Don Seeker said. “We are cooperating with the officials in their investigation, but it is a horrible situation for everyone involved. It is beyond explanation.

The players were suspended for violating the school’s code of conduct and may appeal the decision, Seeker said. The players involved would not be permitted to return to the team until any appeals process is complete.

Superintendent Jeff Ferguson was not available for comment.

The two players charged earlier – Sean E. Kline, 17, and Robert Underwood Jr., 16 – will not return to the team, Seeker said.

The football team is undefeated at 7-0 and is making a bid to reach the state playoffs for the fourth consecutive season. Tallmadge plays at Highland on Friday and closes the season with games at Barberton on Oct. 19 and at Wadsworth on Oct. 26.

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. In April of 2024, the Alaska Press Club awarded him first place in the Best Columnist division and Best Humorist, second place.

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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