The head football coach of the Manhattan (Kansas) football team will return for the 2018 season despite a controversial hazing incident that injured both a 15- and 16-year-old student.
As reported by the Manhattan Mercury and Kansas NBC affiliate KSNT, Manhattan football coach Joe Schartz will be retained as both a coach and teacher for the 2018-19 school year. The decision was announced by Manhattan-Ogden Unified School District 383 Superintendent Marvin Wade, who was given authority to unilaterally make a decision on Schartz’s employment by the school board pending any criminal charges against Schartz.
On December 22, Riley County attorney Barry Wilkerson said child endangerment charges against Schartz weren’t warranted, and all potential charges against the coach were dropped.
The incident that has led to such a focus on Schartz’s future unfolded in October, when a pair of football players — one 15 and one 16 — were both battered during a “birthday beatdown,” hazing incident. While the event occurred during a Manhattan practice, it has not been made clear if Schartz was present when the hazing event occurred.
“While it is understood that people would like more information, to comment further would be inappropriate given this is a confidential matter involving both students and staff,” Wade told the Mercury.