District: Durant player's actions not criminal

A Durant High School football player might not be back on the team this fall after allegedly groping teammates at a football camp in Melbourne over the weekend.

None of the students involved will face criminal charges, but discipline is up to the Hillsborough County School District. The student's behavior is described by the district as "horseplay," not criminal.

Durant High Principal Pamela Bowden warned the players to behave as they boarded a bus for a four-day optional camp at Florida Institute of Technology, according to the district.

"She told them you represent the school anywhere you go, be good," said Steve Hegarty, school district spokesman.

Sources have told 10 News that a junior on the team allegedly groped a half-dozen teammates while they were in the dorms of the school. One parent described the incident as "hazing and assault."

"I don't think it rises to that level at all, and I think if you look at the definition, it does not fit that definition," Hegarty said. "It was misbehavior by the student that we consider serious enough we need to look into it."

Some players told coach Mike Gottman what happened, and he reported it to campus security. Florida Tech told the school district on Thursday that security did not pass the case on to police for a criminal investigation.

"If it need to be needed to be forwarded to police, they have a good relationship with Melbourne police, they would've done so, just as our school security does every week. They decided not to do that, as far as they are concerned they're done with it," Hegarty said.

Hegarty says Bowden and Gottman are on vacation, but will deal with punishment next week. "She's going to want to bring the kids in to talk to some parents and take action," Hegarty said.

Parents and players tell 10 News that they didn't want to talk about the incident on camera, in fear it could jeopardize their standing with the team or scholarships.

The district, however, is urging students to speak up about what happened.


Alleged assault at football camp


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