Hazing rituals are a usual in school sports. It is a form of trust and camaraderie. But an annual "kidnapping" hazing ritual at a high school in Texas that usually involves eggs and pancakes got a lot more risqué.
Female soccer players from Hebron High School in Lewisville were collected from their homes on Dec. 8 and had their eyes covered with panties, mouths duct-taped and their hands tied behind their backs with zip ties or tape as part of the yearly rite of passage.
The girls also had been wrapped together in plastic wrap and got sprayed with silly string and water during the first stretch of cold temperatures in December.
The team's coach of 17 years, Eric Ramirez, knew about the "kidnapping" plans and even helped the girls keep it from school officials, according to the district's investigation. But Ramirez claimed he didn't know about the hazing ritual.
"He did not attempt to stop the student from engaging in this behavior and did not affirmatively report this information to an administrator," one district official wrote in a Feb. 7 memo. "There is also evidence indicating that Mr. Ramirez knew the students were engaging in inappropriate activities other than simply eating breakfast together, including activities that potentially endangered students."
Ramirez, 45, was reassigned to Marcus High School in Flower Mound in January after he was relieved of his coaching duties at Hebron High School and placed on administrative leave.
The Feb. 7 memo doesn't detail what inappropriate activities Ramirez knew about, but students told district officials that he was "aware of the kidnapping this year, but did not know specific details."
Brim confirmed Ramirez was placed on administrative leave while an investigation was conducted and he's now employed at another school in the district.
Ramirez on the other hand claims he didn't know about the ritual until after it happened, he told school officials a week after the incident, according to records. Students, however, told officials at the school that Ramirez knew of plans in place every year to "kidnap" players — and parents even approved the plans. The ritual had been happening at the school for nine years, according to one administrator.
"After the kidnapping, Mr. Ramirez asked how it went, who was in what car and what time did it happen," the Feb. 7 memo reads. "According to a particular student, the event was much rougher in a previous year."
Ramirez, for his part, has alleged that district officials were discriminating against him due to his ethnicity. He has claimed events similar to the "kidnapping" incidents took place in other sports, but white coaches weren't reprimanded at all or received the same degree of punishment.0comments
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[H/T New York Post]