HOLDENVILLE, OK -- Oklahoma investigators are looking into allegations that a freshman high school football player was subjected to a sexually graphic hazing ritual by his teammates.
Hughes County authorities said the freshman player was subjected to the act but neither they nor school officials would release details. The parents of the student want to pursue criminal charges against the two older players involved in the incident.
"I will say something occurred that was inappropriate involving three students," Holdenville Schools Superintendent Steve Butcher said Friday. "We've dealt with it."
The incident happened this week on school grounds. One of the older players was suspended for the rest of the year, and the other was suspended for three days and one football game. Both were juniors.
The case could lead to criminal charges, said Hughes County sheriff's Deputy Larry Brown. He confirmed the nature of the accusations but didn't provide specifics.
Findings of the investigation were given to juvenile affairs officials, who will work with prosecutors to determine if criminal charges are warranted, Brown said.
Meanwhile, football coach Gary Autry was not on the sidelines Friday night when his team took the field against Wilburton High School.
Butcher would not comment on whether any administrative action had been taken against Autry, saying it was a personnel matter.
Autry's home phone number was unlisted.
An expert with the Oklahoma Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault said many teenage boys don't necessarily see hazing with sexual overtones as sexual assault, but it should be considered as such.
Sexual violence specialist Jennifer McLaughlin said there's a tendency in society to say "boys will be boys,"' because there is an expectation for boys to be aggressive, no matter what it looks like.
"But in fact, this is violent behavior," she said. "And it's meant to dominate and show my power against someone weaker that I can do that to."