Plainfield’s entire football team has been suspended for the remainder of the week, including its road game at Waterford, for what the school deemed “inappropriate conduct” on an unnamed application, Fox61.com first reported Tuesday afternoon.
The team members use the app in which the group message was discovered to discuss the team, plays and other things. The principal said one of the chats turned “very inappropriate” and violated the school and athletic department codes of conduct.”
The principal, who is James C. Worth, told Fox61 that it was a school matter and it would not involve police.
The Norwich Bulletin followed with a statement from Worth:
“Because the situation originated with members of the football team and a couple of others kids, and because the activity is certainly a violation of our athletic code of conduct and our school code of conduct regarding social media, and in general good behavior, that is the reason I have now suspended the team from participating in the football game on Friday evening.”
Plainfield, which was 3-2 coming off a 40-17 victory over Central Falls (R.I.) last Friday, was preparing to play Waterford. A forfeit loss — which has yet to be declared on CIACSports.org — would drop their record to 3-3.
This would be the third publicized disciplinary incident involving a Connecticut high school football team this season. An alleged hazing incident at Cromwell/Portland led to one player being arrested and head coach Chris Eckert’s one-game suspension for the season-opener.
Not long after, Stratford public schools suspended coach T.J. Cavaliere after six of his players suffered burns crawling on their hot field during a disciplinary drill.
This suspension, however, involves the entire team — which is unheard of in recent memory.
Last year, two Plainfield High School graduates were arrested for inciting a fight with New London players following Plainfield’s 21-17 victory. The Plainfield football team was not involved in that incident.
UPDATE: Both NBC 30 and WFSB 3 have reported through witnesses that the players were using the WhatsApp messaging service and that the messaging allegedly included a team member exposing himself and also nude photos involving underage girls. An investigation began Friday.
“It’s a sad situation,” Plainfield parent Lisa Jankowski told Brett Porier of Norwich Bulletin. “As the mother of a daughter, why would a girl put herself in that position? But nothing surprises me at all.”
The Bulletin also reported that team members were suspended during a portion of the team’s victory over Central Falls but have since been reprimanded further.