Byron High School administrators disciplined ten football players in November after acknowledging that they took part in a naked “Oreo run” at the school’s football field, reports the Rockford Register Star.
After a thorough investigation, which included interviews with nearly 30 varsity players and all the coaches and a review of dark security video footage, school officials determined that players who ran across the school’s football field with an Oreo wedged between their buttocks were not being hazed.
“We take any allegations like this very seriously, and we have a system in place to address it,” Byron Superintendent Buster Barton said. “But this had nothing to do with hazing.”
The Star reports:
The players were suspended for indecent exposure and forced to sit out of games on Nov. 10, 17 and 23, the last of which was the Class 3A state championship game, documents obtained by the Register Star through the Freedom of Information Act show. In a letter sent to parents about the discipline, the district said the run happened Oct. 26 and school officials learned of it on Nov. 8. Parents were called the next day.
Barton confirmed in an email to the Register Star that 10 players admitted to participating in the run. While it’s not clear whether players were suspended in accordance to the letter, it appears that the team’s best players did not miss the three playoff games listed, including the state championship game against Monticello, the Tigers only loss of the season.
The school’s athletic department sent letters to the parents of the students who allegedly participated in the Oreo Run, which read: “Your son’s name was brought forward as a possible connection to the situation in question. [Your son’s teammate] admitted to running across the football field, without his clothes, while carrying an Oreo cookie between his buttocks. This action is a violation [of] the Byron School Policy […] for participants in extracurricular activities.”
Byron suspension letter by on Scribd
“There was no thought given to the football season, wins or losses, who are the stars and who’s not, in this entire thing,” said Volunteer assistant Sean Considine. “It was dealt with using an iron fist, and I will stand by all of it.”
Barton said that a parent told one of the coaches about the incident at Everett Stine Stadium.
“The report was promptly relayed to me and I immediately directed that an investigation take place,” he said. ”(They) interviewed all nine football coaches. They also interviewed nearly 30 members of the varsity football team, many in the presence of one or more parent. They also accessed and examined footage from various security cameras at or near the stadium.”
“The board was informed right away, and they investigated this to the very best of their ability. I’m confident in that,” said Byron School Board President Carol Nauman. “They did everything they could (to protect the kids), and they have worked very hard to get this right.
“As far as making it better for the future, I think that’s going to take some time, but we need to work on that.”
The incident is similar to the hazing depicted in the opening episode of the college-football themed comedy “Blue Mountain State,” where players perform the Oreo run in an episode titled “It’s Called Hazing, Look It Up.”
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