UPDATE: Football to continue in Grundy County, TN following hazing investigation


The Grundy County Board of Education voted to continue the high school's football season as five students were charged last week with another player's aggravated rape.

At the Monday night emergency board of education meeting, board members voted 6-2 in favor of continuing the season. The Board of Education set plans in motion to select a new coach for the remainder of the season, according to a report from our sister affiliate Fox 17 in Nashville.

During the meeting, Chuck Cagle, attorney for the Grundy County Board of Education, said both the football coach and assistant coach knew about the incident. Chairman Bob Foster also appointed an oversight committee responsible for making sure investigations stay transparent. That committee consists of board members Phyllis Lusk and Chris Groom.

Head football Coach Casey Tate was suspended indefinitely pending new information from the investigation. Tate told police last week that none of the players had the coaches' permission to be at the field house at that hour.

In a news conference last week, Grundy County Sheriff Clint Shrum said the Grundy County High School students met around 5 a.m. last Wednesday to work out on the morning on the incident.

Following the workout session, Shrum said the victim was thrown to the ground and held down by several students as another assaulted the freshman football player with a dust mop's metal handle.

Sheriff Shrum said one of the students took video of the incident on their phone. In the video, you can clearly hear the victim shouting 'Stop! Stop!' The phone is being sent to the TBI.

The victim's parents took him to the hospital and would not elaborate on how seriously the 15-year-old had been hurt.

Shrum said while they initially responded to the call as a hazing incident, they classified it as an attempted aggravated rape case. The students have been charged accordingly.

The five students charged are between 14 and 17 years old; four of them are juniors, and one is a senior. They have been put on house arrest with GPS ankle monitors on.

The students, ages 14 to 17, did not enter a plea in court on Monday for their attempted aggravated rape charged. Three students appeared with a private attorney, one appeared without one, and the fifth had an attorney appointed to his case.

The juvenile judge also recused himself, citing that he represented some of the students' parents in the past.

Grundy County Sheriff Shrum said it was too early to determine if the students will be tried as adults.

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