CLOVER, S.C. – One year to the day after a hazing incident involving football players at Clover High School, the team’s head coach resigned.
John Devine announced his resignation both as a teacher and head football coach, according to the Clover School District.
A total of 10 football players were suspended from school and kicked off the team last season after the incident happened on September 19, 2011 in a locker room.
York County Sheriff Bruce Bryant downplayed the incident last fall, calling it ‘horseplay’ and saying allegations of a tradition of hazing Clover were not true.
Bryant said one of the victims was not credible after his story changed multiple times and the student was even laughing about the hazing allegations immediately afterward. Bryant added that the victim was even the instigator who thought the horse play was all fun.
Devine, meanwhile, helped steer the program out of the mess. But he couldn’t find many wins on the field since taking over in June 2011. The Blue Eagles are winless (0-4) this season.
“This is not the course of action we envisioned a year ago nor were the results [what] we all had hoped for those months ago,” Devine said in a statement.
This spring, the families of two hazing victims sued the school, the Rock Hill Herald reported.
According to the new lawsuit, school employees didn't follow the law and investigated the allegations on their own instead of calling police at first. The alleged attackers are being sued for negligence, assault and battery.
School principal Mark Hopkins thanked Devine for his efforts in a statement.
“His resume speaks for itself; unfortunately, things did not turn out as we all envisioned, and we respect his decision. We wish him and his family only the best in the future,” Hopkins said.
Assistant coach John Barrett will serve as the interim head coach for the rest of the season. Barrett spent three years as head coach at York High School and was 11-23 with the Cougars.