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York College wrestling program suspended after hazing incidents alleged

Updated: Wednesday, October 30 2013, 09:39 PM CDT
Reported by: Kirk Clyatt

YORK CITY -- Just days away from the start of the season, York College has suspended its wrestling program for violations of the student-athlete code of conduct, including hazing and other possible violations.

The wrestling team was scheduled to have its first match on Nov. 9 in Wilkes-Barre. 

CBS 21 was on campus minutes after this shocking announcement was released, trying to get an idea of what caused the suspension.

The story broke after 5 p.m., and CBS 21 did reach out to the college's athletic director and wrestling coach. We didn't hear back from either of them, but we were able to speak with one student-athlete -- not a wrestler -- who claims he knows what happened and, if what he says is true, this is a very disturbing incident.

According to the press release from the college, "Individual students who are believed to be in violation of the college's student code of conduct and student athlete code of conduct will be scheduled for judicial board hearings in the near future."

That press release was sent to all 4,600 students at the college. Most students told CBS 21 they had no idea what had happened. One student-athlete, though, claims to know.

"We share the same locker room, so we heard. They would have parties, wrestling parties, and they would all be there drinking, the whole team, the whole wrestling team, and the they would like, I think they were lining them up throwing water in their face and then a punch," the student-athlete said.

CBS 21 asked him to clarify -- actually punching the freshman? And he said, "Yeah people were telling us, ya know freshman on our team, telling 'em that they had scars on their faces when they were in the dorms, so it must have been like a full-out punch."

Debbie Prescott has been a physical education instructor at the school for 30 years.

"I know the wrestlers really well and they're working hard to have a good season and I don't know anything about what is going on right now," she said.

Neither did most of the students CBS 21 talked to, but student-athletes were keenly aware of their expected conduct. 

"The student athletic handbook and it pretty much describes what you're doing, what you are not supposed to be doing. Several clubs on campus have had meetings, being on the club lacrosse team we actually did have a meeting about this, because we had just gotten off probation my freshman year," Justin Friedberg, a junior club lacrosse player, said.

Students are hoping for the best.  "Honestly I think it was maybe just a misunderstanding and it was blown out of proportion, because I don't think any of that stuff does happen here on campus," Amanda Brogan, another club lacrosse player, said. 

The wrestling team is led by first-year coach Duane Bastress, a former Division III national champion for the York College Spartans. At this time, there are no accusations of wrong-doing against the coaching staff. 

At this point, CBS 21 does not have confirmed exactly what happened, only that it violated the student-athlete code of conduct and it was hazing.

Last year's roster lists 43 members of the team and they were very successful, with an 18-7 record. The formal investigation is underway. At the conclusion, information will be will be provided regarding any further sanctions against the wrestling program. 

At this point, we don't know what type of wrestling season there will be or if there will be one at all for York College.York College wrestling program suspended after hazing incidents alleged

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