New Mexico baseball signee, teammate at Ariz. school suspended 180 days for hazing

Two baseball players at an Arizona school – one a New Mexico signee – have been suspended 180 days after a hazing incident earlier this month.

The Mingus Union (Cottonwood, Ariz.) School Board made a 3-to-0 public vote to suspend one of its senior student-athletes for 180 days, according to the Verde Independent. Another student also received the 180-day suspension, but it was in a limited hearing and his name was not released.

In what the Independent reported was an open disciplinary hearing that lasted nearly three hours, senior Tyler Kelly was told that he would need to transfer to another school if he planned to graduate in two months.

In November, Kelly signed a letter of intent to play baseball at the University of New Mexico.

After a March 6 incident where he and another student were charged with a “sexually related hazing of three students on a school bus,” Kelly was suspended both from school and from his place on the varsity baseball team. The Independent reported that his family requested the open hearing.

According to Mingus Union Superintendent Penny Hargrove, the incident was reported “by the coaching staff that the bus was out of control and that they needed assistance to help resolve the situation.”

Hargrove also said, per the Independent, that there were five adults on the bus during the incident, including the bus driver.

The other student, who Hargrove told the Independent reported had limited hearing and whose name wasn’t released because of translation problems, also ultimately received a 180-day suspension.

Kelly’s 180-day suspension means he cannot attend any of the district’s three schools. He is not permitted on district property or at on- or off-district functions, such as sporting events, prom or graduation.

School Board President Anita Glazar told Kelly, per the Independent, that by watching his “body language,” she “didn’t feel there was any remorse, like we were a joke.”

“You’re 18, you’re accountable for what you do,” Glazar told Kelly.

Sgt. Monica Kuhlt, spokesperson for the Cottonwood Police Department, told the Independent her agency is investigating the reported assault.

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