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Wheaton College Football Players Charged in Hazing

Image: Wheaton College Football Players Charged in Hazing

Blanchard Hall on the campus of Wheaton College located in Wheaton, Illinois. (Jim Roberts/Dreamstime)

By    |   Wednesday, 20 September 2017 05:37 AM

Five Wheaton College football players face felony charges connected with a 2016 hazing incident where a then-freshman football player was restrained with duct tape and left in a baseball field half naked, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The suburban Chicago Christian college is an NCAA Division III football power and defending conference champion. Five players, including the son of former All-Pro Detroit Lions Chris Spielman, were charged with aggravated battery, mob action, and unlawful restraint, the newspaper reported.

Noah Spielman, along with James Cooksey, Kyler Kregel, Benjamin Pettaway and Samuel TeBos were named by the newspaper, which reported that DuPage County Judge Joseph Bugos signed arrest warrants for and set bond at $50,000 each. The Tribune said that the players are expected to turn themselves into Wheaton Police this week.

The Tribune said that three of the players participated in No. 4-ranked Wheaton's win over Carthage College on Saturday and all were listed on the team's roster Monday.

"This has had a devastating effect on my life," the victim said in a statement to the Tribune, adding that he left Wheaton shortly after the incident. "What was done to me should never occur in connection with a football program or any other activity. ... I am confident that the criminal prosecution will provide a fair and just punishment to the men who attacked me."

WGN-TV reported that the victim said the group made offensive comments about Muslims, tried to insert an object into his rectum, and beat him before leaving him on a baseball field. The Chicago Tribune said the victim had two surgeries since the incident.

"… We are deeply troubled by the allegations brought by law enforcement against five members of our football team," Wheaton said in a statement. "When this incident was brought to our attention by other members of the football team and coaching staff in March 2016, the College took swift action to initiate a thorough investigation.

"Our internal investigation into the incident, and our engagement with an independent, third-party investigator retained by the college, resulted in a range of corrective actions. We are unable to share details on these disciplinary measures due to federal student privacy protections.

The college has fully cooperated with law enforcement in their investigation."

Wheaton College said in the statement that it had revised its anti-hazing policy in 2014 and improved its training to include a formal review of our anti-hazing policy with all student athletes every year.

"Despite these deeply troubling charges, we have experienced positive changes on campus, including rapid responses from campus leaders to reports of hazing or other inappropriate behavior and effective disciplinary review," Wheaton's statement said.

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Five Wheaton College football players face felony charges connected with a 2016 hazing incident where a then-freshman football player was restrained with duct tape and left in a baseball field half naked, the Chicago Tribune reported.
wheaton college, football, hazing, charges
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2017-37-20
Wednesday, 20 September 2017 05:37 AM
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