Alleged hazing, rape at Tenn. high school cancels rest of basketball season

The basketball season is over for a Tennessee high school team, which has been embroiled in a hazing incident that has led to three teammates being charged with rape.

Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Rick Smith took a “very unusual step” on Wednesday with Ooltewah High School. Smith defended his decision “so that the criminal justice system can work the way we expect.”

Three teens have been charged with aggravated rape and aggravated assault in connection with an incident that led to a teammate having to undergo surgery after being assaulted while attending a basketball tournament, according to police reports.

The teens are not being named because they’re all juveniles.

According to, Smith said he canceled the rest of the season because he was concerned public speculation about the case “could threaten the integrity” of the investigation.”

Smith said there had been no wrongdoing found against any adult in the case.

“I do want to let everyone know how heartbroken we are about this, how heartbroken I am personally,” Smith said at a PTA meeting. “But I can promise you, and those of you that know me and many of you do, know we’re going to work very hard and very diligently within our staff, our school board and the community at large to develop the kind of safeguards that will hopefully prevent this from ever happening again.”

Other incidents of hazing had been reported. At least three other team members had been abused, family members reported.

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