Wrestling coach fired after hazing allegations surface
BRIDGEWATER, Mass. -- The head coach of the Bridgewater-Raynham High School wrestling team was fired after hazing allegations surfaced.
Police say the entire wrestling team is now under investigation.
The team was supposed to be at a wrestling tournament in Barnstable on Monday. The powerhouse team has been league champs year after year. But this winter, Bridgewater police confirmed that the district attorney’s office is investigating an alleged case of hazing.
“Somebody taking advantage of all those younger kids and stuff like that, I don’t know how that can happen. I mean, why would they do that?” said Tom Duquette, a concerned resident.
The team’s season has been suspended and the head coach since 2005 (and 18 years as the assistant coach prior), 47-year-old Jeff Francis, was abruptly fired by the superintendent of schools.
The team was ranked 15th in the state this year but was forced to forfeit several matches this past weekend.
“Some kids are taking it just too far. I think that’s the biggest thing. You’ve got to find that balance...’cause all that stuff that’s happening with bullying can easily be related to hazing,” said April Duquette, a concerned resident.
Police sources told 7News the hazing allegations are not sexual in nature. Even so, residents still have questions.
“To me, you wouldn’t just go out and fire somebody if there wasn’t any sort of valid evidence that you had to go to that next step,” said Joe Maloney, a concerned resident.
7News was told the coach is scheduled to meet with the superintendent of schools sometime this week in hopes of getting his job back.
Police say that the investigation is ongoing and they hope to have more information about the hazing allegations in the next couple of days.
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