Raleigh Police Investigate NCSU Camp Abuse Allegations
Posted August 14, 2003 6:01 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH, N.C. — Raleigh police are looking into alleged hazing involving high school students. It happened while the students attended a basketball camp at North Caroina State University.
The reported hazing happened inside an off-campus residence hall more than two months ago. But Raleigh police are just now launching an investigation.
Detectives say they did not know about the allegations until WRAL reported them Wednesday night and an anonymous police report was filed Thursday.
Before high school students participated in the basketball camp at Reynolds Coliseum, they had to sign a pledge of good behavior.
But some Avery County students say their upperclassmen broke that pledge during an initiation rite.
WRAL spoke with an outraged parent. His name has been concealed to protect his son's identity.
"As many as 10 incoming freshmen were subjected to very violent, objectionable and disgusting hazing," he said, "that in some cases could be classified as sexual assault."
The students were attending a camp put on by N.C. State basketball coach Herb Sendek. The incidents took place after camp hours at University Towers, a building that is not on school property.
The university said it has no jurisdiction to investigate.
Avery County School officials notified university police, but not the Raleigh Police Department.
Now that Raleigh detectives have gotten wind of the accusations, they've started a criminal investigation.
"In this area with all these camps, football, basketball, wrestling, hockey, it is important that people know it is something not to be taken lightly," said Capt. Ken Mathias of the RPD.
The attorney for the Avery County School system, Richard Schwartz, said he has been investigating for more than a month. He said he has interviewed all the players and does not believe any sexual offenses occurred.
"There was certainly inappropriate behavior, inappropriate activity," Schwartz said. "There were things that happened that should not have happened, and they are being dealt with by school officials."
According to an N.C. State spokesperson, the high-school staff is responsible for all the students once they leave the camp and head to housing.
Sendek reportedly just became aware of the situation Tuesday. His spokesperson said the coach immediately called the Avery County coach and was assured the situation was being taken care of.