Maine high school cancels football season after sex toy hazing investigation, fires coach

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A high school in Maine canceled the rest of its football season and fired its football coach Wednesday after investigating reports of hazing involving a sex toy at a preseason gathering.

One student football player at Brunswick High School said he was held down and the toy was forced into his mouth at a beach retreat in August, leading to an investigation by the school’s attorneys.

Coach Dan Cooper, who was on the trip, was fired as a result of that investigation. Brunswick School District superintendent Phil Potenziano said that between the firing of Cooper, the suspension of several football players and injuries to other players, the season could not be safely completed.

“We understand that this decision will likely come as a blow to many of our student-athletes and their families, and we regret the circumstances that forced us into having to make this difficult decision,” Potenziano said in a letter to students and families.

A very small portion of the investigation was publicly released, but the rest was heavily redacted. Investigators spoke with 36 of the 39 players on Brunswick High’s football team, along with Cooper and a parent who was on the Aug. 16-17 trip. But all of their testimony was kept private.

Investigators also obtained and viewed four videos of the reported sex toy incident, but the descriptions were also redacted.

The football team was 1-3 and had three games remaining when the season was canceled. Cooper was in his 17th season as coach at Brunswick, which is about 20 miles north of Portland along Maine’s coast.

Police in Brunswick are also investigating the incident and will receive evidence from the law firm that issued the report, Drummond Woodsum, according to the Portland Press Herald.