HOWELL (AP) – A varsity high school hockey coach and two assistants have been fired after the district was told players walked around a bar while wearing women’s undergarments during a recent trip to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
Howell Public Schools said in a statement this week that it determined that Randy Montrose and the two assistants were “present and involved” when “hazing” occurred during the school-sponsored trip to Marquette.
“The Board of Education believes that hazing activities of any type are inconsistent with the educational process and prohibits all such activities at any time,” the district said in a statement on its website.
Radio station WHMI reported that the players went inside the bar as a joke. According to the team’s website, the Highlanders, which are based about 45 miles northwest of Detroit, were in Marquette for a game played Jan. 6.
Superintendent Ron Wilson said he reviewed photos taken during the trip that showed the players involved and those watching, including coaches, players and bar patrons. He said it showed participants dressed in women’s bras, underwear and girdles at the bar across the street from their hotel.
“We didn’t have much choice,” Wilson said. “It’s such a clear violation of school policy” and Michigan High School Athletic Association rules.
Montrose, who took over the program in 2002, told the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus of Howell that “a runway show” involved swimsuits.
Montrose said that, in discussions with Howell High School officials on Wednesday, he was given the option of taking a suspension, and on Thursday was told to he didn’t have the option to keep the coaching post.
School officials met with players and their parents during closed-door meetings, the newspaper reported.
The district is looking for an interim coach. Until then, the district says varsity hockey games and practices are cancelled. The district said the hazing incident and “other alleged misconduct” were under investigation.
Jon Madden, a 2006 graduate who is listed as a senior on University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point’s hockey roster, was on Montrose’s first Howell team. Montrose didn’t allow hazing, he said.
“If he heard anything along those lines, he would take action to stop it,” Madden said.
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