Ex-coach: Ending season over hazing 'overreaction'

Ex-coach: Ending season over hazing 'overreaction'

Published Oct. 30, 2014 9:15 a.m. ET

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (AP) The championship-winning former football coach at a Philadelphia-area high school rocked by hazing allegations says canceling the rest of the season was an ''overzealous, knee jerk, overreaction.''

Former coach Mike Pettine Sr. said in a statement Wednesday the district unfairly punished the entire Central Bucks West student body, tarnishing the school's reputation nationwide. He's calling for the ouster of board members who agreed with the move.

The district says the team engaged in ''humiliating and inappropriate'' pre-season rituals for rookies, including grabbing another player's genitals while fully clothed.

The 74-year-old Pettine coached the program to four state titles and is the father of Cleveland Browns coach Mike Pettine Jr. The elder Pettine says the district's reaction threw ''an irresponsible blanket of guilt over every player and coach.''