Hazing News

Remembering Decatur High School Hazing Issue: Star-Telegram fumbles the football on hazing coverage

Once again, we have a newspaper ignoring the news story when it covers football players flouting state law. Hazing is against the law in Texas. You can’t have one standard for high school players in your coverage…and another for pro athletes.

See your own paper’s news articles on Decatur High School hazing in 2000, for example.

Why not assign a non sports reporter to the beat, editor? Just a suggestion. This one probably thought twice about writing a story that would upset those offensive (good word) lineman her or his article protects and perhaps encourages (even worse).

Star-Telegram Editor: How about an opinion piece on why pro football still tolerates hazing when high school hazing has led to so many misdemeanors and a couple felonies 2008-2009?

Or at least an explanation to your readers.

Cowboys welcome officials, rookies don new ‘dos
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Rookie offensive lineman Travis Bright shows off his new haircut, the end result of some rookie hazing, at Cowboys training camp on Thursday.
Tracey Myers

Sometimes, training camp has its quieter days. And today certainly could’ve qualified as one of them.

The officials were in for today’s session, as the Cowboys did some short-field work at the Alamodome. Players will meet with officials later tonight to talk about rule changes, coach Wade Phillips said at his afternoon press conference, but it was an otherwise quieter day for the Cowboys.

“We did some goal line, some short yardage; it was a little bit physical but it wasn’t live,” Phillips said. “We’re putting in some new things defensively and offensively, short yardage and goal line.”

Phillips wants the Cowboys as prepared as possible for next week’s preseason opener at Oakland.

“We’re trying to put in almost everything we have before the first game and then work from there,” he said. “We still have a few things to go.”

While the Cowboys were putting schemes into their on-the-field repertoire, young offensive linemen were showing how much hair they lost the night before. Yep, some of the rookies were hazed on Wednesday night at the hands (and clippers) of the veteran offensive linemen. The results were amusing to the non-hazed Cowboys, as well as to some of the “victims.”

“They were there scheming, saying they wanted to do this, this and that, and at the end it’s their little Picasso,” Travis Bright said of the culprits. “(The head) is a little bit cooler now, so what the heck. I’m married, so I don’t have to worry about girls.”

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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