“It… Sets us Back 30 Years” Coaches Discuss Hazing Allegations

Photo of Allendale-Fairfax High School football player, 17-year-old Clifford Shakur Chisolm, who alleges he was injured on August 7th during a hazing ritual.
Photo of Allendale-Fairfax High School football player, 17-year-old Clifford Shakur Chisolm, who alleges he was injured on August 7th during a hazing ritual.

Tuesday a South Carolina student filed a law suit against football players, he says hazed him.

Back in august, News Channel 6 told you high school football player, Shakur Chisolm accused his teammates of beating him during a camp initiation.

On Tuesday he and his parents announced they are suing for his medical bills and emotional distress.

The family says the Allendale County School District and Allendale-Fairfax High are responsible. The coaches and players at Allendale-Fairfax are under investigation.

After these allegations were made, we wanted to take a closer look at how prevalent hazing is and how coaches in our area make sure it doesn’t happen at their schools.

InsideHazing.com reports that 79 percent of NCAA athletes report being hazed initially in high school, but the facts also state that the majority of victims don’t report their abuse.

The NCAA defines hazing as “any act committed against someone joining or becoming a member or maintaining a membership in any organization that is humiliating, intimidating or demeaning or endangers the health and safety of that person.”

High school football player Shakur Chisolm’s allegations against his teammates have brought to light a national issue that for the most part is swept under the rug.

“I feel like it kind of sets us back 30 years,” Augusta Christian head football coach, Keith Walton said.

Augusta Christian head coach, Keith Walton says it begins and ends with the coaches.

“I think a lot of times coaches do that to determine who their leaders are going to be, but leadership is a skill so it can be taught,” Walton explained.

He admits hazing is not unheard of even in the immediate area, he’s even seen it happen.

“You have a lot of old school head coaches that this is a rite of passage. I can remember an instance where, and I won’t name the school, we went to football camp at Rock Eagle with one of the local schools, they were there as well, and one of their rite of passages was for the kids to come out an fight and the seniors fought the freshman and it was like knock down drag out fisticuffs,” Walton explained.

Like Walton, Aquinas head coach, James Leonard says you have to teach the players to be respectful.

“We try our best to make sure nothing like that happens,” Leonard said.

He says there would be major consequences if he ever caught one of his players hazing someone.

Junior player Connor Sweeney says their team is a brotherhood.
“The seniors are leaders they’re like the big brothers on the team, even when we had a like a freshmen week a month ago and a lot of the freshman football players got senior football players, and you sort of saw the team come together,” Sweeney remembers.

Both Walton and Leonard say they haven’t had to deal with hazing at their schools, but they both take the issue very seriously.

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