CCH senior football team forfeits game after players involved in hazing incident: LDCSB

London Catholic Central High School. Andrew Graham/980 CFPL

Catholic Central High School’s senior football team will undergo educational training focused on the dangers of hazing and initiation behaviour following an incident at a recent student party that involved nearly half of the team’s players, the London District Catholic School Board has confirmed.

Details about what happened remain murky, but in a letter sent home to team parents on Friday, Patrick Gilson, the high school’s principal, and Drew Irvine, its athletic director, said the incident occurred at an after-school-hours party involving rookie and veteran members of the senior team.

“Upon investigation, veteran players admitted to participating in a draft selection of rookie players and chose costumes for the rookie team members to wear at the party. Photos of the students were taken and ended up on social media,” the statement from Gilson and Irvine reads.

Global News has not seen the photographs, and school officials stress the gathering “was in no way supported, endorsed or promoted,” by them or the coaching staff.

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In their letter, Gilson and Irvine describe the incident as having involved “hazing/initiation behaviour,” adding that team building, “should not humiliate, intimidate, or demean in anyway.” It’s not clear if any players were injured in the incident.

“(This type of behaviour) breeds a dangerous and negative culture and poses a risk to the physical and mental well-being of all those involved,” they said.

At least 25 players were involved and took responsibility for their actions, Gilson and Irvine said.

The team, which has a total of 55 players, was forced to forfeit a planned game Friday morning at St. Andre Bessette Catholic Secondary School as those involved could not play, resulting in a player shortage, they said.

School officials say a community partner will facilitate a workshop about hazing and initiation activities, which players will be required to take part in. It’s not clear when the workshop will take place.

A spokesperson for the London District Catholic School Board told Global News that the students involved will face no additional penalties.

The team’s next scheduled game is on Thursday against Mother Teresa Catholic Secondary School.

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Global News reached out to Thames Valley Regional Athletics for comment, but did not receive a response by publishing time.

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