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Amid a police investigation into horrifying hazing allegations against players, an Indiana high school has suspended more than half its football team and forfeited a second consecutive game to open the season.
After suspending 17 of the football team’s 28 players for “a violation of school policy and school rules,” Oakland City (Ind.) Wood Memorial was forced to forfeit its season opener against Princeton, according to the Princeton Daily Clarion. The Trojans have also forfeited Friday’s game against Lynnville Tecumseh.
Tonight's varsity football contest has been forfeited by Wood Memorial due to unforeseen internal circumstances. We will not make up game.
— Princeton Comm HS (@PCHSTigers) August 19, 2016
Meanwhile, Oakland City police have launched an investigation into the hazing allegations. One source close to a team member told WEVV-TV that Wood Memorial seniors targeted freshmen, alleging sexual assault of at least one player. “They sodomized him with a broomstick for his birthday,” she told the local television news station.
In statements to the media, Oakland City Police Chief Alec Hensley neither confirmed nor denied the anonymous source’s specific accusation, although he did cite rumors of a game called “What’s the Odds?” as one reason his department is investigating allegations dating back to the previous season, when Wood Memorial finished 0-10. Police plan to interview all 28 players and their coaches, according to reports.
“We’ve started an actual investigation on it,” Hensley told the Clarion. “It’s going to take a few weeks to get through all the interviews that we need to get through. Once we get that completed, we’ll put it all together and give it to the prosecutor. … We’re interviewing anyone that we can that is a witness or involved.”
In an article entitled “What are the odds: The game ruining everyone’s night out,” British online publication The Tab described the activity alleged to have been played by members of Wood Memorial’s football team.
The odds game works like this. Someone asks you what are the odds for a certain act. You give them odds, say 10/1 for example. Your guess must be a number between one and the total, in this case 10.
You count to three and both state your number.
The convention is if you land on the same number, or the two numbers add up to the original total, the person to whom the game was proposed undertakes the task that was set out from the off.
That game, which sounds horrible, might be the last Wood Memorial plays this fall. Hensley suggested the investigation could span into Week 4 of Indiana’s high school football season. If criminal charges are brought against the 17 players suspended for Week 1, it’s hard to imagine the school fielding a team at all this fall.
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