Local News

Methodist College Football Players Accused Of Hazing Will Not Face Expulsion

Posted November 21, 2002 6:06 a.m. EST

— A Methodist College football player was suspended and four others placed on disciplinary probation following a hazing incident in which a teammate was sodomized with a felt pen, the school said Thursday.

Seven players have been charged in the Nov. 11 incident, which took place in the team's locker room after practice and left the victim with minor injuries. Campus officials said they believe the situation began as horseplay but then escalated.

"This entire situation has been both sobering and disturbing," Methodist President M. Elton Hendricks said in a release Thursday.

The release said Dean of Students George Blanc had conducted an investigation into the allegations before deciding on the punishments. The school did not name the five players who were disciplined.

One player was suspended for the remainder of the academic year and has been placed on a "withdrawn failing" status for all classes.

Four others are prohibited from future participation in Methodist College athletics, required to perform community service, required to formally apologize to the victim and must enroll in a counseling program. Three of them were also assessed monetary fines.

The cases against two players are still being reviewed, the school said.

"This incident is completely out of character with the mission and beliefs of Methodist College. What resulted should not occur in civilized society, and certainly not in an academic community," Hendricks said.

Antonio Wilkerson, 21, a senior wide receiver from Ocala, Fla., was charged last week with second-degree sexual offense.

Wilkerson also faces a misdemeanor count of hazing, along with Crasten Davis, 23, a junior linebacker from Mebane; Angel Garcia, 21, a senior linebacker from Tampa, Fla.; Jamaal Legette, 21, a senior defensive end from Jacksonville, N.C.; William McPhaul, 21, a senior linebacker from Fayetteville; Shawn Watkins, 21, a senior linebacker from Bethany Beach, Del.; and William Jamar Brown, 21, a senior defensive back from Auburndale, Fla.

Methodist College, a private liberal arts school, opened in 1960 and has almost 2,000 enrolled students.