EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

December 2, 2011

Hazing ringleader slams investigation

Facebook page urged players-only meeting

ANDOVER — One of two alleged ringleaders in the Andover High hazing scandal created a secret Facebook page where some of his basketball teammates and other students criticized the investigation and organized a meeting of the team.

The student, who was expelled by school officials Wednesday, referred to the school investigation as "bull (expletive)" and urged fellow players to attend a meeting in the "Dunn gym right after school."

"... You better be there," the expelled student wrote Wednesday. Five of the 17 members of the Facebook group "liked" his comment.

The meeting invitation came the same day school officials announced punishments would be doled out to Andover High basketball players involved in pressuring two underclassmen to play a game of "wet biscuit," where the loser was forced to eat a semen-soaked cookie. The incident happened in July at a summer basketball camp on the Stonehill College campus in Easton, Mass. Nine members of the Andover High team were in attendance.

School officials have refused to detail what punishments were handed out. The Eagle-Tribune reported Wednesday at least five students were kicked off the basketball team and given school suspensions of varying amounts of time. The two ringleaders were expelled. Students facing expulsion or suspension are entitled to a hearing before their punishment takes effect. Calls to the expelled teens and their parents went unreturned. No one answered the door at either of the players' homes.

Other students belonging to the expelled student's Facebook group called the actions against the ringleaders "unfair" and urged others to keep their mouths "shut."

"Just don't talk about anything and we can fix this," a fellow high school athlete wrote on the page. "You guys look we can fix this, we just need everyone's help," the student added.

A criminal investigation into the incident continues. The investigation is being handled by Easton Police, with the Bristol County District Attorney's office and state Attorney General Martha Coakley's office being apprised of all developments.

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