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The Brunswick High School athletic department in Brunswick, Me. announced this week the cancellation of the rest of their high school football team's season and the firing of head coach Dan Cooper following an investigation into a sexually-charged hazing incident during a preseason team retreat. According to a report by Steve Craig of the Portland Press Herald, the alleged incident occurred during an overnight retreat between August 16-17, and involved a player being held down and having a sex toy put in his mouth.

Following the launch of an investigation into the incident on September 2, 36 of 39 rostered players as well as Cooper and other coaches were interviewed, and emails, text messages, and four brief videos of the incident recorded on students' phones were obtained.

As a result of the investigation, school district superintendent Phil Potenziano announced the firing of Cooper as well as the removal of several players from the team. The decision to cancel the remainder of the season was made based on safety concerns based on the amount of remaining players the team had available. The amount of players removed from the team was not specified.

"We understand that this decision will likely come as a blow to many of our student-athletes and their families, and we regret the circumstances that forced us into having to make this difficult decision," wrote Potenziano in a letter to the community. "However, we must be guided by what is best for the safety and well-being of our students and the administration, and I believe that this is the right decision."

Although Potenziano did not answer direct questions about whether the investigation concluded that the alleged hazing incident took place or that the incident constituted assault, he stated that the investigation's results demonstrated the school district's "Zero Tolerance" policy for hazing, bullying, and harassment. The school's bullying policy specifically mentions that all employees must report suspected harassment or bullying of students.

Cooper, who had been placed on non-disciplinary leave on September 24 along with assistant coach Greg Nadeau, had been in his 17th season as head coach of Brunswick's varsity team. Potenziano stated that there may be opportunities for members of the football team to gather for some practices, weight room use, or "light intra-squad scrimmages."