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Season canceled for Maine high school football team after hazing investigation

During a team retreat, a football player was held down and an adult toy was placed in his mouth, according to court documents.

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After a hazing investigation that led to the removal of players, a Maine high school football team's season has been canceled.

Brunswick School Department Superintendent Phil Potenziano announced the decision on Wednesday.

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The superintendent also said that head coach Dan Cooper was no longer associated with the team.

The school department, as well as Brunswick police, have been investigating reported hazing and harassment during a team retreat in August.

Cooper and assistant coach Greg Nadeau were placed on non-disciplinary administrative leave from their coaching responsibilities last month.

The superintendent did not provide an update Wednesday on Nadeau's status with the team.

Sister station WMTW obtained a heavily redacted report compiled by a law firm hired by the school district to investigate the situation.

The report said that during the football retreat in mid-August, a football player was held down and an adult toy was placed in his mouth.

School administration was made aware of the incident on Sept. 2, and the investigation was initiated on Sept. 14, according to the report.

The report said all players who were at the retreat were interviewed as part of the investigation. In all, the report said 36 of the 39 players on the football roster were interviewed between Sept. 14 and Sept. 27.

The football coaches at the retreat were also interviewed, and four videos linked to the incident were reviewed.

Specifics of all the interviews, as well as the findings of the investigation, were redacted.

The superintendent said with the investigation complete, he will be working with the school board, high school administration and experts on how to proceed to ensure something similar does not happen again.

"Hazing is a ritual for becoming part of a group, and it is designed to cause another pain, embarrassment, or ridicule, so talking about the details of the report is not valuable. In fact, talking about the report can and will most likely cause further harm to the victims. The bottom line is that the School District has a zero-tolerance policy for hazing, bullying behavior, and harassment. By completing this investigation and taking the appropriate actions, we have demonstrated that," Potenziano said in a statement.

Last week, Potenziano said that some students had been removed from the team as a result of the investigation but declined to say how many.

Potenziano said they are evaluating how remaining eligible players might be able to hold some practices, intra-squad scrimmages or time in the weight room.