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Carmel hazing update, plus more high school athletic scofflaws

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As the Carmel, Ind., police continue to investigate two different hazing incidents involving four boys high school basketball players, the news void is being filled with, for example, WIBC-FM in Indianapolis interviewing me Feb. 27 about what I’ve written about it. Clearly, a station that had time to kill. It was a Saturday.

Most of what’s happening is people in Carmel circling the wagons. The athletic director, Jim Inskeep, in a bid not to get sued, told The Indianapolis Star, hey, we told kids not to haze each other; now my job is done. The head coach, Mark Galloway, pulled the Jesus card, telling the Star that things are tough for him now, but “my faith will get me through.” I hope he feels the same for the freshman player who had to go to the hospital for the injuries he received from his hazing.

The wagon-circling also applies to some of the student body, which booed reporters at Feb. 26’s Senior Day game — which featured only one senior because the other four were suspended. They also, successfully, baited Indianapolis Fox reporter Kim King (who’s got her own Twitter anti-fan club that includes tweets that seem actionably threatening toward her) to say something stupid. As a teacher was escorting away cellphone-camera wielding students who were wondering why she was ruining their night, King gave students the advice: “Be careful. Keep your pants on.” (King apologized on the air the next night.)

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Police have said they expect to take weeks to figure out what happened on the bus ride back from Terre Haute Jan. 22, the one in which three seniors are being investigated for possible felonies including criminal deviate conduct (a sex crime), and a Jan. 8 incident in a locker room that involves similar charges. Actually, part of the delay is figuring out exactly where the school bus incident happened, because that will determine, if there’s a prosecution, where it happens.

Despite what some of the tinniest of the foil-hat wearers are saying are message boards — the ones Carmel Mayor James Brainard is pleading to when he says the school and the city aren’t covering up anything — the Carmel police can investigate the school-bus case even though it didn’t happen in Carmel proper. However, in emailing with Indiana University-Indianapolis law professor Joel Schumm, any warrant for arrest and prosecution would likely have to come from the county where the alleged offense took place. If for some reason Hamilton County, where Carmel is located, decided to prosecute, it risks the defense moving for a change of venue or, after a trial, a new trial, because of jurisdictional issues.

Meanwhile, the blog Advance Indiana took the opportunity to remind its readers that this isn’t the first time Carmel High has been in the middle of a hazing incident. In 1998, the boys swim team was rocked by a hazing scandal, one that led to the resignation of the swim coach, and a lawsuit against the school and its administration by the victim. (I haven’t been able to find what happened to that case.)

At the time, the school supported the coach, even though he was indicted on charges related to the incident (charges on which he was acquitted).

By the way, Carmel is hardly the only school in the middle of a hazing scandal. Other than cases in Grand Rapids, Mich., and Franklinville, N.Y., that I had previously mentioned, here are other current hazing incidents that have broken out just since February:

— In Crystal Lake, Ill., police are investigating hazing involving the Prairie Ridge High School wrestling team.

— In Idaho, three students were charged in relation to hazing involving the wrestling team at Teton High.

Written by rkcookjr

March 2, 2010 at 12:28 am