South Orangetown School District officials released a statement Tuesday regarding the circumstances leading to the combined Nyack-Tappan Zee High School hockey team forfeiting a Section 1 playoff game Sunday.
Coaches and administrators in Nyack and South Orangetown investigated a video posted by members of the team online that they found to violate the athletic code of conduct. At least 11 players were suspended from competition, leaving the team short of the 10 required to play.
Patch readers offered a mixed response, some supporting the decision while other claimed that the punishment was too severe.
"The punishment doled out to the kids was overkill and totally inappropriate. If we want our children to be creative, innovative and confident we must stop trying to control them and beat them down for simply being teenagers. For all the nudity that we are exposed to regularly w/o parental screening or viewing what occurred inn this video is no worse than when adults go skinny dipping after a party. The kids should be allowed to play hockey and let's focus on more important things like the non-stop drug trade that takes place behind the Orangeburg Post Office."
- Barry Silverman
"Total overkill. Not only did you punish those who were involved, you also punished the ones who weren't by forfeiting the game. Disgraceful."
"I see nothing wrong with the punishment. When you play a school sport, you are representing the school. This video was disgusting and in poor taste. Is this they way we should believe Nyack and TZ school are? If so, than I agree, the punishment was not warranted. But if you do not believe this is a good representation of either school, than the punishment was fair. They didn't penalize the entire team, but because of league rules, the playoff game had to be forfeited."
"The punishment was hard, but appropriate. Maybe they will realize posting things online can have ramifications. They are all aware of the code of conduct and receive a book at the beginning of the season. In addition, they need to remember they are representing the school, their teams, their families, and most importantly themselves."
- James Bond
"I'm not outraged by their actions. Yes, it's marginally offensive, but not terribly so and could easily have been written off as a harmless prank. However, these boys obviously agreed to a certain code of conduct in order to be a member of this team. If they violated that agreement, then the punishment was deserved. It is time that we teach our children that actions have consequences. Unfortunately, it's a lesson they are not taught often enough these days, thanks to hovering parents and a litigious society.
"And if you think that the school board's decision was unfair? Guess what? Life is not fair, and that's a lesson this generation needs to learn as well. My children are in college now, and I am appalled at how entitled some of their friends feel. I do feel very bad for those kids who worked hard and didn't have anything to do with this had to forfeit the game, too, but that's part of being a team, another important lesson."
To read the full report and all of the comments so far, click here.