I must admit, I have hazed, and I have been hazed. You see, I was in a fraternity. As anyone who has been Greek knows, hazing is generally part of the pledge tradition. For me, the hazing would involve doing another brother's dishes, making a "Dirty Harry run", getting each brother to sign my pledge book, carrying a brick around for six weeks, etc, etc. Pretty innocuous stuff. And it never crossed the line of criminality.
When the rookie football player is forced by the veterans at training camp to stand up and sing the song of his alma mater, that is hazing. When I was a freshman baseball player, I was forced to carry the equipment. That was hazing. Unfortunately nowadays, hazing has a much stronger connotation. A glimpse of the local newspaper or TV news can tell you that.
In case you've been living under a rock, you've undoubtedly become familiar with the alleged hazing incident involving the Wilson High School baseball team. If you have missed it, three varsity baseball players were charged Friday with various counts of third-degree aggravated sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child after the alleged hazing of junior varsity players.
Even though we don't have details of the alleged incident yet, the quote by New York State Trooper Major Christopher Cummings, “I can’t say I’ve heard of anything that goes to this level”, is very disconcerting. I would think that a NYS Trooper Major has pretty much seen it all.
We're not going to play judge and jury. However, if, and that's a big if, these young men are found guilty of third degree aggravated sexual abuse, they need to go to prison. No youthful offender status, no plea bargains. I'm sick of this "it's just boys being boys" defense. Boys being boys doesn't involve forcibly inserting a foreign object into a younger boy's rectum - allegedly.