Wall High School football program to return this fall despite hazing investigation
A return to football in Wall Township is slated for this fall following months of investigations into hazing allegations.
There were calls from some to cancel the next football season, while others said it’s not fair for the kids who simply want to play.
It was early November when at least four videos taken weeks before inside the locker room allegedly showing harassment, hazing and even attempted sexual assault got the attention of district officials and the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office.
The district suspended several students and placed the head coach, athletic director and two assistant coaches on leave. Earlier this month, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office filed hazing, criminal sexual contact and harassment charges against several players.
Attorney Armen McOmber represents three victims and tells News 12 he plans to file a lawsuit against the Wall Township Board of Education.
Head coach Tony Grandinetti, a position he’s held since 2017, remains on leave. The district posted a job opening Friday for head football coach, a position that paid just over $9,000 a year, according to records. Board President Ralph Addonizio on Sunday promised the return of football to Wall High School this fall.
Addonizio wrote, “There is more to football than just the players on the field. We have cheerleaders, twirlers, color guard and our award-winning band that put on a show every week for our students and residents...Wall High School has had and continues to have many talented students both on the field and off that have represented our district and town with honor and dignity."
Addonizio would not comment on the pending lawsuit but did say many students rely on the football program for college scholarships and to limit their opportunity would not be fair. One student remains suspended.