A Colorado wrestling coach has been dismissed following the circulation of a video depicting the coach taking part in the hazing of a freshman.
As reported by the Denver Post, Chaparral wrestling coach Rocky Johnson was fired following the emergence of a video from a Jan. 27 practice where Johnson is seen encouraging a prank called, “The Ultimate Sit-Up,” a disturbing hazing trick where a wrestling is blindfolded and then tricked into completing a sit-up that finishes with the athlete face-first in the rear end of a teammate.
The incident was filmed by the parent of a sophomore wrestler on the team, who was reportedly so disturbed by the incident that he immediately turned the video over to school administrators. Those officials immediately suspended Johnson before eventually firing him as of Thursday evening.
Johnson was in his first season leading the Chaparral program, and Andrew Stubbs, the parent who filmed the practice, said that the program had already taken a notably disturbing turn under Johnson’s leadership, a tone which had since bled into social media threats against his son and himself.
“I was going to deal with it through the school and all that, but my son has started to get threatening social media posts,” Stubbs told the Post. “The social media message that the team captain sent to my son says, “You and your dad are lame excuses for men. You better avoid me and my family like the plague.’ So I just got a real problem that I don’t think this is being taken seriously.
“It’s a huge change from last year—he berates kids, and yells at them, and makes them not want to wrestle anymore. Now, because of the backlash, my kid can’t go to wrestling practice anymore. How is he supposed to go to practice now when the team captains and the coach are the ones doing the prank?”
Now a new leader will come in and try to re-establish a different tone again, one which ideally is devoid of hazing actions like the one that has now cost Johnson his position.