Seven Owasso Football Players Suspended
Seven football players at Owasso High School have been suspended for two games what the superintendent calls a "violation of school policy."Clark Ogilvie tells KTUL.com the issue has been dealt with, but declined to into detail about the reasons for the suspensions. The students are also suspended for five school days.Athletic Director Danny Hightower says the investigation was begun in the middle of the week and that no names are being released. Ogilvie wouldn't say whether other players were involved.Owasso plays a big game tonight against top-ranked Jenks at home. It's also homecoming night. The Rams are 1-and-1 after an opening loss to Broken Arrow and a win last week at Muskogee.
"I'm just sick to my stomach over the situation, mostly because of the impact it has on everybody involved," says Owasso football dad Rob Rizzo. "Some guys if they made some poor choices this could have a negative impact on their whole future."
Rizzo is the father of a sophomore Owasso football player and got a call last night about a possible hazing incident. He immediately asked his son, what happened?
"He said, dad it's not really a big deal, at the time and so I was anxious to get home and meet with him one on one and see how he was doing and he seemed to be doing pretty well with everything," says Rizzo.
KTUL.com asked Athletic Director Danny Hightower about the hazing allegation, he was pretty tight-lipped, only saying that the 7 football players had violated school policy.
"I can't make any comment on what was actually handled in the meetings with the kids and can't give out names because of the privacy act," says Hightower.
All the students we talked to said there is an initiation process in the football program. It involves Seniors taking some sort of paddle to younger players. Rizzo has also heard about these recent rumors.
"If this is an annual ritual or rite of passage or something, I don't know how they want to look at that but it doesn't sound like what I think of hazing, related to fraternities and stuff," says Rizzo.
Former Owasso football coach Robert Newton said he's never heard of the initiation process, but times were different when he was a coach.
"I remember what the seniors did, they made the sophomores go out and buy them dinner, but I never heard of them paddling anybody," says former coach Newton.
Newton says it was probably just boys being boys.
"These young guys will bounce back and do a good job for the program," says Hightower.