UPDATE: Hamilton County superintendent Rick Smith has canceled the Ooltewah boys basketball season following the disturbing incident that has been tied to hazing and a subsequent investigation into other reported wrongdoing among the program’s players. In a school board meeting, Smith claimed to be, “devastated and deeply concerned,” about the hazing allegations against Ooltewah, and his decision to cancel the season was supported by Ooltewah principal James Jarvis.
Following aggravated assault and rape charges against three now-former Ooltewah (Tenn.) boys’ basketball players, the school’s superintendent is expected to cancel the remainder of the team’s season at Wednesday night’s school board meeting, according to WRCB-TV in Chattanooga.
On Dec. 22, an Ooltewah freshman suffered a ruptured colon and bladder after being beaten and sodomized with a wooden pool cue while staying at a rental cabin with teammates during a holiday basketball tournament, according to multiple local media reports. After spending eight days in the hospital, the boy will not return to Ooltewah High School, according to WRCB-TV.
Meanwhile, three members of the basketball team, who have since been removed from the program, were booked in a juvenile detention facility on aggravated assault and rape charges.
The expected cancellation of the season by Hamilton County superintendent Rick Smith comes days after the Hamilton County district attorney’s office launched an investigation into an alleged culture of hazing at the school. That announcement followed a statement by a lawyer representing Ooltewah head coach Andre Montgomery that described the incident as a “unilateral decision of three individuals currently charged with a sexual offense.”
It is unknown how the cancellation of the season will impact Montgomery’s status