Five players have been dismissed from the Paul Laurence Dunbar High School football team, following what was described by officials as a "hazing" incident among players at the school Monday afternoon.
Principal Anthony Orr said a freshman player was struck in the head by a 10-pound medicine ball during the incident. The youngster was checked and released at a Lexington hospital, Orr said Wednesday.
"He is fine but is taking it easy for the rest of the week," Orr said. "We were very fortunate it wasn't worse than it was."
A number of other freshmen players also were on the receiving end of the hazing, Orr said. The five dismissed players are upperclassmen, he said. No names were released.
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Orr said Wednesday afternoon that school officials are continuing to investigate the incident. He did not rule out the possibility of action against additional individuals or the possibility of further punishments being imposed against the five dismissed players.
But he also did not rule out the possibility that the five might be able to return to the team later.
"I'm just going to say that we've taken these initial steps, and they're not with the team," Orr said, "We know that all five were involved. At this point, there are five, and it's an ongoing investigation."
The incident occurred late Monday afternoon at the Dunbar team's weight room at the school. The team is in summer training camp, which began Monday.
Orr said some players went to the weight room sometime after the team's late afternoon meal and before its final practice of the day Monday.
"It appears that some of them started horseplaying, but it moved to a different level that we would call hazing at this point," Orr said.
He met with coaches and team parents Tuesday night to discuss the incident and the steps the school is taking.
Orr said there will be meetings with the team to talk about the incident and to prevent any more examples of what he called "absolutely intolerable" behavior.
Orr, who is entering his seventh year as principal, said he could recall no previous such incidents.