A number of Herkimer High School student-athletes face suspension from their teams after it was learned they attended a September party in Ilion, where drinking reportedly was involved, violating the student-athlete code of conduct.
Athletic director Stan Congden said the school did its own investigation, and there likely will be players suspended from four different sports teams this week.
Superintendent Gary Tutty said he offered any athletes who were at the party the opportunity to come forward, and that they have until Tuesday to do so.
“We’ve had some come forward already; we could end up getting as many as 15,” he said. “We’re trying to reward honesty here. We want these kids to be honest, pay the price, do the punishment and move on.”
Tutty said the sports likely to be affected are football, boys’ soccer, girls’ soccer and field hockey.
Boys’ soccer coach Robert Nasypany confirmed that two of his players are among those athletes, and that they will be forced to sit out Tuesday’s game at Frankfort-Schuyler.
Congden said the number of suspensions should not be high enough to put any games in jeopardy.
Herkimer’s defending Section III Class C championship football team, 5-0 and ranked 10th in the state, will likely be missing what head coach Alan Steele called “a few” players when the Magicians play at Little Falls Saturday afternoon.
“We’re affected, but we’re going to play the game,” said Steele, who expects the suspensions to last one game.
He also said the football players affected came forward on their own.
“We had a few kids make a mistake, they owned up to it, they’re going to take their punishment, and we’re going to move on,” said Steele.
Last weekend, 21 Ilion football players were suspended for attending the party, forcing the team to forfeit its game Friday against Frankfort-Schuyler. The boys’ soccer team also had to forfeit its game Saturday at Clinton.
Congden said all athletes are given a copy of the student-athlete code of conduct before the season begins, and they have to sign and return it before they can play. He also said that code differs from the regular student code of conduct, in that the athletes “are held to a higher standard.”