High School Coach Resigns After Boys Hockey Team Performs In Lingerie

Randy Montrose fired hazing hockey playersThe coach thought it was all in good fun. But when photos leaked of the boys on his Howell, Mich., high school hockey team performing skits in a bar -- in wigs and women's lingerie -- school officials ended the coach's 10-year career, and fired his three assistants.

Every year, when the varsity hockey team went to Marquette, Mich., for a tournament, they engaged in what the coach, Randy Montrose, calls a "rite of passage," reports Detroit TV station WXYZ. The players donned ladies' undergarments and performed a comedic talent show. He emphasized that all the boys take part voluntarily.

But whether or not it was voluntary didn't matter to school officials in the town of nearly 10,000 that's about 50 miles northwest of Detroit. According to a local news website, Livingston Daily, the "Howell Public Schools Student/Parent Handbook" defines hazing as: "performing any act or coercing another, including the victim, to perform any act of initiation into any class, group or organization that creates a risk of causing mental, emotional or physical harm. Permission, consent or assumption of risk by an individual subjected to hazing shall not lessen the prohibitions contained in this policy."

After school Superintendent Ron Wilson reportedly received an anonymous phone call about the incident, along with other allegations, he launched an investigation. The school soon "ended its relationship" with Coach Montrose and his three assistants, Scott Gardiner, Chris Jones and Marty Passino, according to the school's press release.

"It was such a clear violation of our school policy and MHSAA rules, that regardless of how long it was going on, we didn't have much of a choice," Wilson told the Livingston Daily.

Montrose had brought the team to fantastic success in his decade as coach. And the team members, at least the ones who spoke to WXYZ, jumped to their coach's defense. "No one was anxious or scared to do it," explained Travis Wever, a senior. 'We were looking forward to it. We thought it would be funny for the players, parents and coach. We just danced. Nothing vulgar, nothing bad, in our opinion."

Andrew Brownlee, also a senior, who had also participated the year before, said, "You're a kid once, and can only be a kid once." Another team member said similar things happened on other sports teams, and that they felt "picked on" and "in shock."

"You work at building a program for 10 years and get the respect of the kids, their parents, and--," Montrose said, trailing off. "It's very difficult."

Hazing has been a topic in the news lately, after a drum major at Florida A&M University died in December from blunt trauma sustained during a hazing ritual. Investigators classified the death as a homicide. But hazing has long been controversial. It's often defended by high school and college clubs as an exercise in bonding, and opposed by others as a practice that can easily slip into coercion, humiliation, abuse, injury or worse.

Notorious hazing incidents usually don't involve coaches, but there have been a few. In 2000, George Dixon, a wrestling coach at Hilton Head High School in South Carolina, resigned after a student reported that she had been sexually assaulted with a broomstick during an initiation ritual, though no charges were filed. And the football coach at Canyon High School in New Braufels, Texas, resigned in 1997 after a father claimed that his son was penetrated with a coat hanger during an assault by older players. Investigators failed to corroborate the accusation.

The hazing at Howell High School was in no way as severe as these charges, but even a comedic drag show poses a danger in the minds of school officials. As a general policy, school staff members probably shouldn't encourage students to strip down.




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evilklown

Uh, adults do not don't dress up high school kids in lingerie. I guess he missed the memo.

February 22 2012 at 4:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Eric Knight

There are four slots waiting on the Michigan Sex Offender Registry for these four coaches.

February 22 2012 at 4:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
joetdraw

Quite a kinky bunch up there in Howell.

February 21 2012 at 10:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ernest M. Hughes

I wonder what Milton Berle would say...

February 19 2012 at 1:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
flareithotron

Mich. HS Hockey Team doing stupid
So, None of the players or their parents complained? That's hard to believe!
Remember, it was all in fun even if some of the participants may not have thought so.
Sure, maybe not out right! Who wants to be played as the poop of the party?
When in a group, if you want to fit in, you learn quickly not to rock the boat!
I'm willing to bet some $, that at least 1/4 of the players and parents did feel uneasy
about what was going on but, kept it quiet, so as NOT to be laughed at or ridiculed.
I've been forced to play that same game, although some time ago!

February 14 2012 at 2:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
flareithotron

Mich. HS Hockey Team doing stupid
So, None of the players or their parents complained? That's hard to believe!
Remember, it was all in fun even if some of the participants may not have thought so.
Sure, maybe not out right! Who wants to be played as the poop of the party?
When in a group, if you want to fit in, you learn quickly not to rock the boat!
I'm willing to bet some $, that at least 1/4 of the players and parents did feel uneasy
about what was going on but, kept it quiet, so as NOT to be laughed at or ridiculed.
I've been forced to play that same game, although some time ago!

February 14 2012 at 2:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
R L

I'm surprised the knucklehead isn't in jail. What a lard head.
This is a way of a coach getting full control of a student and get them to do anything the coach says . mind control . Sociology 101. Da cops won't do nothing wink wink." man up." stupid is as stupid does.

February 12 2012 at 3:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
nothingsurprisesme

Frankly, I have more of an issue with the fact that this coach must be some kind of an idiot. In today's atmosphere of zero tolerance, how could not have thought, "Hey, this probably isn't a good idea?" purely on the self-preservation side of things. If he really couldn't anticipate that this might cause a problem, he's not very bright.

February 10 2012 at 3:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
meNyou

When you can say FOR SURE dressing up in women's clothing & doing a comedic skit causes "that creates a risk of causing mental, emotional or physical harm" to people who are doing it VOLUNTARILY, get back to us. Otherwise Howell Public Schools should STFU!

February 07 2012 at 7:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
BillsCatz

Skip all the rhetoric and PC wah-wah, this dude is just plain NUTZ. A good pep talk and some razzing is part of the deal, even some ranting and raving, but having teenage guys dress-up in tutus and dance around is wayyyy around the bend. Small town in IN, too? Good Lawd, this guy hasn't even seen the outside edge of the shat storm he just stepped into.

February 07 2012 at 4:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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