In January a Kansas school that identified a “birthday beatdown” tradition in its football program announced it would not be firing its head coach. Now it’s become clear that none of the players involved in the incident will be disciplined, either.
As reported by the Wichita Eagle, none of the varsity football players at Manhattan High will be disciplined for any role in carrying out the aforementioned birthday beatdowns. The key determining factor in that decision? Apparently it was decided that there was no proof that a player had to acquiesce to a birthday beatdown to be part of the team.
” … there are no facts or insufficient facts to even charge the case,” Attorney Marc Goodman of the Lynn County Attorney’s Office told local news outlet KVOE. “There’s absolutely no evidence that the ‘birthday beatdown,’ as they called it, was a requirement to be a part of the football team.”
Similarly, it was determined that the level of violence in the physical altercations themselves didn’t reach the threshold of criminal assault.
All of which means that, surprising though it may be to some, the Manhattan football program is likely to enter the 2018 season almost exactly as it did the 2017 one, whether that feels fair or not.