Culture of Hazing Found on Tenn. High School Team Before Rape

The report found multiple instances of hazing before the alleged 2015 rape of a student.

An investigation into a rape case involving a Tennessee high school basketball team found that a culture of hazing existed long before the incident.

A 27-page report on the case showed that players on the team had been hazing and bullying each other for weeks before the alleged December 2015 rape of a Ooltewah High School student.

The report, released Aug. 19, also suggested that the team’s former head coach Andre Montgomery and former assistant coach Karl Williams were vaguely aware of the culture.

Hamilton County interim Superintendent Kirk Kelly says district officials have “embraced” the report and are working on ways to improve their approach to bullying, hazing and sexual harassment in the district.

RELATED: Claims of Abuse Spark Investigation into GWU Coach

The district called for the report following a witness account of two players on the team holding down a freshman while a third penetrated his rectum with a pool cue during an overnight off campus stay for a tournament. The victim’s bladder was punctured in the attack and he required emergency surgery.

Campus Safety previously reported that the three students involved have been charged with rape and the two coaches were charged with failing to report a rape. The charges against Williams have been dropped and all three students have plead not guilty, according to

The report found evidence of years of freshman hazing on the team, including multiple hazing incidents in the month leading up to the alleged rape. Interviews with players revealed that freshman were subjected to below-the-neck beatings, which the team referred to as the “freshman rack.”

Coach Montgommery was reportedly aware of “excessive horseplay” and would punish the players involved with excessive physical activity.

The report recommended mandatory hazing and bullying training for all employees as well as the establishment of reporting measures for staff. The report also recommended a zero tolerance culture for prohibitive behavior on athletic teams and the expansion of educational efforts for students on bullying.

Read Next: W. Kentucky University Settles Hazing Lawsuit for $75K

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