New Jersey High School Cancels Football Season Amid Hazing Investigation

PHOTO: Sayreville War Memorial High School in New Jersey canceled its football season, Oct. 6, 2014, amid an investigation into hazing and bullying accusations.PlayABC News
WATCH NJ School Cancels Football Season Amid Hazing Allegations

A New Jersey high school canceled its football season Monday amid an investigation into hazing and bullying allegations.

Sayreville War Memorial High School will forfeit its remaining six games, superintendent Richard Labbe announced.

The initial investigation into hazing allegations found “there were incidents of harassment, intimidation and bullying … that took place on a pervasive level, on a wide-scale level and at a level in which the players knew, tolerated and in general accepted,” Labbe said in a statement to the media.

Labbe’s announcement followed a closed-door meeting with parents of players on the football team.

The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office is investigating. That ongoing investigation has collected “credible and substantial evidence” so far, Labbe said.

The decision affects the school’s freshman, junior varsity and varsity teams.

Sayreville is one of New Jersey’s most storied football programs, winning three state sectional championships in the past four years. The team opened this season 2-1, before forfeiting last Thursday’s game as the hazing allegations emerged.

An assistant coach with the team, Charlie Garcia, was also arrested last week on steroid possession charges. Garcia later resigned.

Parents of players expressed anger with the decision to cancel the football season.

“They’re holding the kids accountable and not holding the coaching staff and teachers accountable,” Curtis Beckham, whose son is on the varsity team, told NJ.com. “I don’t think what they’re doing is fair. A lot of the students who are innocent, they’re suffering.”