|From L-R: Joshua Brewer, Maverick Holmsley, and Ricardo Loma|
Joshua P. Brewer, 17 and Maverick Holmsley, 18 have been each charged in St. Louis County Circuit Court with four counts of first degree sodomy in connection with hazing allegations at a Principia football camp last August. Ricardo Loma, 18, faces seven counts of third degree assault for his alleged role.
Hazing has become an all-encompassing buzzword used to describe rituals used by sports teams and other clubs to initiate new members or rookies. I was hazed as a high school freshman. Upperclassmen put shaving cream in your helmet or stuffed you in a locker. That was about the extent of it, though.
No one got hurt and no was abused. However, what is alleged to have happened in Sayreville, N.J. and now Principia is not hazing. Call it what it is — rape and assault. The details of the Principia case are too graphic to describe in this space, but feel free to read the St. Louis Post-Dispatch story here.
Kids today have gone too far and it’s up to us as adults to reel them back in. So-called hazing rituals can no longer be allowed because young people have crossed the line from a playful rite of passage into the world of Class B felonies. It’s time for coaches to teach other team-building activities. It’s time to re-introduce trust falls and low-ropes courses.
If we don’t, I’m afraid out locker rooms will no longer be separated by offense and defense. They may wind up having registered sex offenders on one side and survivors on the other.