Cromwell head football coach to serve one-week suspension after hazing incident

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CROMWELL -- The superintendent of Cromwell schools announced the head football coach will serve a week-long suspension after an alleged hazing incident.

Paula M. Talty, superintendent of Cromwell Public Schools, announced Cromwell High School head football coach Chris Eckert would be suspended for one week starting Tuesday.

The alleged incident hazing incident came to light last week. A high schooler was charged with breach of peace and hazing on Thursday. Police said the 16-year-old, who was not identified because of his age, struck four other football players with a belt after another team member turned the lights off in the locker room. The victims had minor injuries.

The suspect, 16, was not identified because of his age. Officials would not confirm reports that the teen is suspended.

The investigation determined the coach left the players unsupervised. Eckert fully cooperated with the investigation and said he was sorry for the oversight, according to Talty.

He will serve the suspension starting Tuesday until September 15, and will miss the game on Saturday. Talty said the school system reserved the right to take further action if new details surfaced.

“We are confident that he will exercise appropriate supervision in the future,” Talty continued.

Some members of Cromwell football team and their parents were on hand to watch the press conference. Cromwell football captains Ethan Roy and Mayze James said they support Eckert.

“We idolize him as a coach and we all follow him and we love him very much,” Roy said.

“I grew up without a father so, you know, he’s that first male role model that I have who I can go to and talk to about anything personal,” James said.

The two would not discuss the specifics of the incident.

“We apologize as a team that this took place and we just kind of want to move forward,” James said.

 

Multiple separate investigations into the Aug. 25 incident were launched following the incident. A Department of Children and Families investigation into the incident is still ongoing.