Safford football

All Safford High School summer football camps and competitions have been canceled pending investigation into an alleged hazing incident at a camp in the Pinetop-Lakeside area in June.

SAFFORD — Safford Unified School District announced Tuesday that disciplinary steps have been taken regarding the incident involving the high school football team at a camp in Pinetop-Lakeside in June.

“With regard to the investigation into SHS football, no removals have been issued. We have administered a varying degree of suspensions and other disciplinary consequences. The district will not release more specific details,” A.J. Taylor, director of instructional services, told the Courier in an e-mail Tuesday.

During the camp, a video was taken of one player being punched repeatedly by a group of other players. That video was shared with 12 News in Phoenix, which prompted investigation by the district as well as Navajo County law enforcement.

Taylor said, “We have not received any new updates from Navajo County” in regard to any potential criminal investigation.

There has been no official statement released whether the incident is considered “hazing” or defined by another term.

Taylor confirmed that the varsity football program will go forward with the 2019 season and that the district is taking steps across all athletic programs to ensure incidents such as this do not occur in the future.

“We will continue to train and educate staff, students and parents about behavior expectations, the law and good athletic sportsmanship,” Taylor said.

He added that coaching staffs are receiving training offered by the National Federation of High Schools.

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