Turns out the Hazing at CB West Was Hardly an Isolated Incident
As the fallout from the Central Bucks West hazing “scandal” continues, coach Brian Hensel was fired yesterday — not quite the full resignation of the school board former coach Mike Pettine Sr. was hoping for.
The “one incident” and “not a big deal” arguments have already been made, but Bucks County’s own Mike Sielski (who kinda wrote the book on CB East and West), says it’s “part of a larger pattern of inappropriate behavior among players that had become entrenched over time and that was carried out amid oft-willful ignorance from coaches and parents.” Sielski elaborates:
At the 2012 picnic, the players then went to a more remote part of the park, away from the coaches and parents, for their initiations. Each rookie had to do what the player described as “mayo shots.” That is, the player would lick mayonnaise off a teammate’s body parts, including the nipples and the groin. One player became nauseated after swallowing the mayonnaise and ran off, in view of parents and coaches, according to a parent who saw him.
The following year, the initiation changed again. This time, according to the player, with the upperclassmen and the school’s cheerleaders looking on, every rookie had to simulate having sex with a stuffed toy pig.
[Editor’s note: Having gone to an all-boys high school, I may have literally killed for the opportunity to hump a plush object with cheerleaders looking on.]
Sielski points out the big issues at play here: That there’s a “fine line between team-building and hazing,” and “teenagers do dumb things.” Those points can’t really be argued. But when the question arises if Hensel was completely unaware of these things because teenagers do dumb things and are especially good at hiding those dumb things from non-teenagers, there comes this interesting tidbit: “[Hensel] and his coaches refused to sign a code of conduct, mandatory for every coach in the Central Bucks School District. They were the only coaches who refused.” That’s not saying he knew what was going on or was complacent, but “refusing to sign a code of conduct” probably isn’t what you want from a leader of teens.
It remains to be seen what the vibe will be like when CB West opens their 2015 football season. It’s likely the anger some have at the district and school board will have subsided — though some will surely still see themselves as victims — but the team, the school, the district, and the fans will likely be in better