Another day, another high school wrestler with a broken jaw. Yesterday a high school baseball player was punched so hard he had convulsions and today it’s a high school wrestler who won’t be eating solid food for a while.
The incident at New York wrestling powerhouse Warsaw High is a little different, but still stems from the concept that you can’t have just a little bit of hazing. Sorry, jocks just can’t seem to let it go: they insist on topping each other from year-to-year and we go from some innocent “horseplay” to assault.
In this case, he have a member of the wrestling team who was allegedly harassed last year as a freshman, but continued to be hazed this year, especially after he lost a match some of his older teammates thought he should have won. The victim reportedly complained to the coach (more on him later) and the harassment eased . . . for a while. After it picked up again (the other wrestlers reportedly “questioned his manhood” and you know what that means) the victim looked for a way out.
The older wrestlers allegedly agreed to stop tormenting him if he and another freshman (reportedly the victim’s friend) exchanged punches. (“Hey, we won’t get in trouble, they hit each other! We didn’t do anything!”) They did, the older boys allegedly didn’t think the punches were good enough and punched them themselves. Then, there was reportedly a second punch between the two victims, and then a third . . . and that one was the one that broke the victim’s jaw. And to top things off, the whole thing was recorded on a cell phone, including older boys allegedly on the floor laughing as the victim lay bleeding. That video is key because the 17-year-old allegedly erased part of it and, in addition to facing hazing charges, also is accused of evidence tampering.
The school district decided that coach Robert Hirsch was not directly responsible, but suspended him anyway for failing to monitor the situation. Hirsch also decided to show up at the preliminary hearing for one of the accused, saying he was “showing support” for the team. Really? What about showing support for the victim? Hey coach: by showing up like that you’re telling the world you think the attacker is the one being wronged here . . . whether you meant to or not. And the school district has still failed to make a final judgement on this whole incident, but given this is a “state powerhouse” team, likely they will rule it’s “just horseplay that got out of hand” and deny there was any sort of “organized hazing.” No school wants to admit it has a hazing problem and most will go to great lengths to deny it, in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. (Hint: That’s YOU Warsaw High.)
And, in a little bit of irony, the parents of the alleged 17-year-old bully got into a shoving match with a local TV cameraman as they entered the courtroom yesterday. Dad can be seen pushing away at the cameraman, while mom shouts “He’s a frickin’ 17-year-old. Give him a break, would you?” Can’t take having a TV camera in your face for 30 seconds? Try being harassed EVERY DAY in high school, being called names and being–allegedly–assaulted by the people who are supposed to your teammates.
Every, frickin’, day.
Yeah lady, let’s not cause your little boy any emotional pain, while one of his teammates sits across town eating dinner through a straw.
Watch the video below.
(Source: Athletic Business)