Sayreville High School football program will resume after hazing case

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Anthony Johnson has details on the decision to resume play following the high school football hazing allegations. (WABC)

Sayreville's high school football program, which was canceled for the remainder of the 2014 season following hazing allegations, will resume play in the fall, officials announced Tuesday night.

Schools Superintendent Rick Labbe made the announcement during a Board of Education meeting.

"I believe very strongly after the last several months that football is a very important part of our athletic programs and our community and therefore, in consultation with our Board of Education, I am pleased to announce to you this evening that we will have a 2015 football season," Labbe said.

The 2014 season was canceled in October after the allegations surfaced against seven Sayreville War Memorial High School football players.

The accused, who are between 15 and 17 years old and have not been identified, will not be tried as adults.

According to the complaint, on various dates between Sept. 19 and Sept. 29, one or more of the juvenile defendants either held the victims against their will while other juvenile defendants improperly touched the victims in a sexual manner. It also is charged that in one instance, one of the victims was kicked during an attack.

Three of the defendants are charged with aggravated sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual contact, conspiracy to commit aggravated criminal sexual contact, criminal restraint and hazing for engaging in an act of sexual penetration upon one of the juvenile victims.

The other four are charged with various counts including aggravated assault, conspiracy, aggravated criminal sexual contact, hazing and riot by participating in the attack of the remaining victims.

The Sayreville school board suspended coach George Najjar and four of his assistant coaches after the scandal made national headlines, though none of the coaches have been charged.

The longtime head coach remains suspended indefinitely with pay from his tenured physical education teaching position at the high school. Najjar compiled a 165-54 record during 20 seasons at Sayreville, including going 21-13 in postseason play.

The four assistants were reinstated on Nov. 18.

Meanwhile, the school board accepted the resignation of athletics director John Kohutanycz, effective June 30.

School officials never said why Kohutanycz was suspended with pay on Dec. 17.
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