NEW JERSEY (PIX11) -- Governor Chris Christie vows that the disturbing reports of alleged hazing by Sayreville High School football players will be investigated, calling the details "extraordinarily disturbing."
"If the facts as alleged are true, then this is a nightmare for the parents of those young men," Christie said. "You think you send your child to a sporting activity that they're going to be engaged in activity that's positive for them, that's uplifting, that teaches them the right type of lessons."
The parent of a Sayreville High School football player who was allegedly hazed by older members of the team has come forward with new details about the abuse faced in the locker room.
According to an exclusive report by NJ.com, the locker room hazing ritual would begin with a howl by one of the senior football players. Then the lights would turn off.
The unnamed parent said senior players would proceed to pin a freshman player to the ground with their arms and feet held down. The freshman would be lifted to his feet as a finger was forced into his rectum. Sometimes the finger would be forced into the same freshman’s mouth.
“[For] 10 seconds, the lights would go off and they would grab a freshman and they would go on,” the parent told NJ.com. “Right on the floor…It was happening every day. They would get the freshmen.”
The new details come days after Superintendent Richard Labbe announced Monday that the school will cancel the rest of the football season amid "substantial and credible evidence" regarding hazing allegations.
During the announcement, Labbe did not reveal any specifics into the alleged hazing as the case is still under investigation by the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office and the Sayreville Police Department.
Sayreville High School has one of the top football programs in New Jersey. Several students and parents were initially disappointed by the announcement, claiming it was unfair to punish everybody.
A week before the season was canceled, an assistant coach resigned after steroids, testosterone and syringes were allegedly found in his car.
Read Christie's full statement:
The facts as reported currently are extraordinarily disturbing and as the father of a number of teenage athletes, the idea that that kind of conduct could be permitted, if it’s true, that that kind of conduct could be permitted in a high school athletic program or anywhere else in our state for that matter is absolutely unacceptable. Now I’ve already had conversations with the Education Commissioner and the Attorney General. They’re working well together to deal with this issue both from an educational perspective and a law enforcement perspective and so I don’t want to jump too far out ahead but the fact is that if these facts as alleged are true, then this is a nightmare for the parents of those young men. And it tells us something about the attitude that was allowed to pervade in that program. Both of those things need to be addressed, not only specifically in Sayreville, but more broadly across the entire state to ensure that no other young male or female athletes are exposed to that type of treatment. And so I speak on that one, not only as the Governor but as the father of four children who play sports and two of them who have played sports in high school. You think when you send your child to a sporting activity that they’re going to be engaged in activity that’s positive for them, that’s uplifting, that teaches them the right type of lessons. If that’s what went on in Sayreville, that’s not what parents were expecting their children to be exposed to or taught and it’s unacceptable. So we need to find out more facts and that’s what the Attorney General’s job is and the local prosecutors. I have great confidence, not only in Attorney General Hoffman, but in Prosecutor Carey who I also worked with at the U.S. Attorney’s office and I know to be a really strong, smart prosecutor. And I’ve already had conversations with Commissioner Hespe about dealing with this on a more holistic way from the educational perspective in our high schools. We’re going to keep working towards it but I don’t want to get, in terms of the facts of that individual case, any further out in front of it until we get all of the facts that are necessary to make a fair and just determination.