Superintendent: 9 Wayne Hills Students Accused Of Assault Can’t Play Football

School Board Meets, Considers Possibility Of Overturning Decision

WAYNE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A New Jersey school district has pulled nine of its players, each charged with aggravated assault, off the football field right before the school’s big game.

But some students say the punishment goes too far, reports CBS 2’s Ann Mercogliano.

“Football is life at Hills, life. Everything revolves around football, so that’s a pretty big hit to the team,” Wayne Valley High School graduate Brandon DiCenso said.

Under the glow of Friday night lights, Wayne Hills will compete in a big playoff game against Paramus without nine of its players, a reversal of a decision made by the district that originally allowed the players to take the field last week.

Some students are crying foul.

“I think whatever happened was wrong, but whatever happens out of school should stay out of school,” student Jelena Rovenain said. “I think they should finish the season off.”

The nine players were charged last month, including star wide receiver Andrew Monaghan. Police said Monaghan and the other eight, who are not being named because they are under the age 18, assaulted two teens after a party. One victim was knocked unconscious.

Initially, the district said the students couldn’t be punished for something done outside school and let them play last week. However, it has suddenly changed course.

The Superintendent Michael Roth released the following statement:

“I have determined that the students charged by the police may not participate in any extracurricular activity, including sports, from this day to a time to be determined based on facts, information, or legal decisions. Students and their families have all rights provided by law related to this decision.”

Roth did not return Mercogliano’s calls to find out why the decision changed. A graduate of the rival high school where the victims are students said the district made the right call.

“One hundred percent, 100 percent the right move,” DiCenso said.

On Thursday night, members of the community showed up at a regularly scheduled school board meeting and let their feelings be known, reports CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez.

Wayne Hills  coach Chris Olsen said he and his family have received insults and threats over the arrested players playing last week.

“No one in this room condones fighting or any type of violence. I think that’s a given,” Olsen said. “This week is a nightmare. My wife and my family have been called everything in the book. ‘You’re a disgrace. You’re a pig.'”

The community is decidedly divided.

“What’s on trial here is the whole town being separated into two. And I’m not hearing any remorse. Jeez, I’m sorry we got into a fight,” resident Mark Sabiano said.

“You’re not hurting nine young men here. You’re hurting a whole community,” resident Chris Connolly said.

After listening to residents’ input, the school board went into a closed hearing to possibly decide if they will reverse the district’s decision and allow the accused members to play.

Some players were defended by their attorneys.

“My client wasn’t there, he’s innocent. He was charged wrongfully,” Darren Del Sardo said.

The school board’s decision could make or break Wayne Hills postseason.

Do you agree with the new decision? Let us know below…

  • sjanoski1

    Oh and as a side note, DarthEVaderCheney is a complete moron. Who could possibly sink so low to argue with someone of his character?

    • Aunt Tootz Told Me So

      Why are you commenting off topic? Stick to the subject at hand!

  • sjanoski1

    Okay. Please try not to judge this situation like idiots. The only people that can make ANY kind of judgments on Wayne and this case are the people that live here. We are not some football-obsessed school, we take pride in our academics and other school honors. Coach Olsen, though I do not know him very well, works hard at his job, and I do not believe he is any sort of maniac, as accused by people in the previous post. On this specific issue, I personally know some of the football players at this party. I cannot say what happened at that party, but they are not terribly mean, moronic monsters that people make them out to be. Please try to bring some degree of education into your posts and try to understand that if you are not from Wayne, you can’t adequately judge the people that live there or the town as a whole.

  • gotacomment

    Wayne Hills = PSU/OSU East. It doesn’t matter what these spoiled brats/animals with cleats and helmets do as long as they win games. The coach is obviously an ego-maniacal idiot, but the parents who whelped these cretinous louts–and who foolishly raise the money to keep this nonsense going– should be spayed and neutered and thir oafish offspring whipped through the streets. This incident is one more excellent argument for keeping sports at all levels intramural, if these programs have to exist at all.

    • DarthEVaderCheney

      Heck, gota, in all my years of college and teaching after graduating, I’ve seen it all from “jocks.” From the years i and other students tutored/mentored the jocks through their courses so they could get Cs and Ds so they could qualify to play the next game, to jocks treatening and blackmailing (without basis) Profs to inflate their grades. We have a saying that emanates throughout the education world: “Those who can’t teach, coach; those who can’t coach get their M.S. in Education Administration and destroy the educational institutions from within to the outside until nothing is left of education. THIS is why the USA is on the cusp of the worst education system in the world. Hispanics, Latinos, Asians et al, are blowing the WASP students out of the water academically. We couldn’t compete with PhyEd teams if we had to. It’s just as well we don’t have intramurals either, but you do have a good idea.

  • maria

    The Board and parents of these nine players should be ashamed of themselves for thinking that what they did was OK and that they should be able to play in this game tonight. Two young boys are fighting for their lives and no one is thinking about them, just about winning a football game. Then you wonder why young kids are behaving like this when their parents condone this kind of behavior. they are also to blame, Too much emphasis is put on winning, the heck with the oher guy.

  • feartheveer

    Where were you all last night when it was time to appear at the B of E meeting and show in real numbers the 19 – 1 in favor of punishing kids prior to due process !! That must be a pretty big computer you all are hiding behing. And get off the references to PED use by any football player at WH, or any other athlete in the state of NJ. MANDATORY rANDOM PED TESTING FOE ALL ATHLETES IN EVERY DISTRICT has been in place for 3 years. Just like all the other hard “evidence” that you people have produced and are chirping about, it is all just here say .Coach Olsen came to a public meeting and backed his players, unconditionally. It is great to see this from a coach who commits himself to his players and their parents as much as they commit to him. Hopefully there is a judge who will grant an order which will allow these players on the field where they belong . AND, then all of you people who can’t stand the fact that there is success achieved by others in Wayne can get back to Occupying Wall Street. (Pack your gloves and boots, its gonna be a bit chilly tonight!!!)

    • DarthEVaderCheney

      What the hell is your point, Jockstrap? Or did you sleep through the education classes at your local beer joint while attending the University or College?!?

      • DarthEVaderCheney

        I thought so!!! No response!

        • DarthEVaderCheney

          Or, are you an Administrator, by any chance??? C’mon, c’mon…forthtell the truthism!

  • AnnonUSA

    What has happened to this country?

    Years ago, we had fights too, the world didn’t end and we didn’t need attorneys to resolve them. Was the fight instigated? Were there permanent injuries to anyone? are we really so afraid of confrontation that every youthful experience becomes a legal issue?

    I say let the students play. there is no way 9 students landed a knockout punch to someone. and until you determine who did, you cannot punish the entire team. This is big brother gone crazy. Like expelling kids for bringing a 1 inch gun on a keychain to school.

    Common sense, like Elvis, has left the building….

    • DarthEVaderCheney

      If football is the onoy thing Wayne Hills has that is holding it together, I’d say your problems started a long time before this altercation. The Superintendent made the right decision! Wayne Hills sounds like a very “spoiled brat” community!

      • Amtracmarine

        Nothing but a bunch of Willobrook Mall hanging, punk as*ed tough guy wanna-be ,Jersey City transplants.

  • bullett

    “But some students say the punishment goes too far!” Isn’t that just like spoiled sports jocks? I hope some of those that are seniors have put their hopes of playing football at collage in jeopardy. Maybe this will teach them a lesson of behavior, both on and off the field. As for the injured student(s) I hope they sue the town, school district, and parents for assault.

    • DarthEVaderCheney

      Thank you, bullett for a very common sense answer. Beating someone unconscieous and then belly-aching about punishment going too far is typical of small-minded jocks. These boys and their coach have been coddled so much they actually think this type of behavior is okay! (They may say differently, but in their minds and hearts, sports comes first. If this is what their hometown laurels rest on, they indeed have a pretty weak foundation on which to rest. Sad, sad, sad!

  • Surfin Bird

    This is definitely the correct call made by the superintendent.

    He should also make the team forfeit last weeks game as well.

  • disgusted

    Olsen’s program teaches nothing, His program does not help them become men. This is not the first time his first players have gotten into trouble, it has been happening for years, Many of his players have gotten into serious trouble and gotten away with it. He without a doubt runs a great football program. And that is all it is. A great FOOTBALL program. They learn how to play football, and nothing else. They win games. That is all they are taught. I played for this team. I know how it works. When I played, three players were kicked off the team for stealing another player’s portable video game system. These players assault two students from the cross town high school, and they have the whole team, and parents, backing them up in court because they are valuable players. The kids who were kicked off the team for stealing were sophomores who did not play. Must I say more?


    For the love of football the law must be ignored.Wayne Hills morons are taking a play out of Sandusky’s book, HAW HAW HAW!!!

  • Jung

    Sorry kids, you screwed up. Pay the price and shut up.

  • karen s

    finally! thank you supt roth. actions have consequences, and extracurricular activities including sports are a privilege, not a right. the coach missed the opportunity to show actions have consequences. their actions had to have been a violation of team rules and proper social behavior. football is not life. yes, sports is a rallying point, an entertainment, an opportunity to demonstrate good sportsmanship – on the field and in the stands. if my kid was involved in that they’d be grounded. learn from it and make a positive difference. sometimes you don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression.

  • Fair is fair

    It’s disappointing that kids who got themselves arrested were allowed to represent their school. It really tarnishes the image of the school district and the integrity of the athletic department when coaches overlook morals because they are not perceived as law.

  • formerNBILplayer

    We as a society are too quick to point fingers at educators and parents for the actions of teenagers. Do you remember when you were a teenager? I remember being able to think on my own and make my own decisions (or at least I believed I did) as a 17 or 18 year old. That’s not to say I always made great decisions but I certainly knew the difference between right and wrong at that age, especially when it comes to beating someone to the point that they are unconscious. These are not toddlers learning how to walk, they are GROWN MEN who can make decisions on their own and surely know that their actions were unacceptable. That being said, the only blame on parents and educators is if they get away with what they did. A clear message needs to be sent, not only to those that were involved, but anyone else that would consider doing something like this. To let them get away with this is teaching them that they can get away with anything. We need to stop babying teenagers. If you treat someone like they cant make their own decisions then they will act like they can’t make their own decisions.

  • wayne citizen

    It’s disgusting to hear the story from a student’s perspective. Apparently the these “fine young gentleman” asked one of the victims to put their head on the curb so they could curb stomp them. They even made calls to various people from Valley about what happened and claimed it was the funniest thing they ever did. I’ve also heard rumors about all the different lies they plan on saying to get themselves out of trouble.

    What happened that night was so sick and messed up. They should all get locked up for their behavior that night. They were asked to leave the girl’s house and refused. Apparently one of the boys was responsible for supplying alcohol to the party. And of course, nearly beating a boy and his friend to death. If those kids walk away from this act clean, then that’s a real shame. It wasn’t just a simple couple punches thrown, they BEAT the kid when he was already unconscious. Sick, sick, sick.

  • A Little Birdie Told Me

    Huh? Are you insinuating that the teachers “raised” them? I’d do a little deeper thinking if I were you. Raising YOUR children is NOT the teachers’ (ANY techers’) job! Geeeezzzz!!!

  • A Little Birdie Told Me

    With a 25 year stint as a teacher, with an Administrative Education Masters, those 9 students are fortunate indeed to have a high school education to look forward to. They should have expelled permanently and I hope the parents of the victims sue the parents and the students into the far future. Thankfully I am retired today.

    • feartheveer

      That type of comment is what we expect of a so called union “professional” with some meaningless paper on the wall. Thank goodness your days punching the clock and getting out of dodge every day are over. Sounds like you made a real difference. This was a fight between high school students, throw out all the rumors , the drama outweighs what the facts are.
      Coach Olsen is a STAND-UP GUY !! Great to see that he supports his players unconditionally, something that seems to be the exception now. Just wait for KIDS to make a mistake and run them out of town. Great attitude, GO HILLS and God Bless Coach Olsen…

      • A Little Birdie Told Me

        Typical jock comments.

        • nrichard

          typical juice head lowlife comment –

          • A Kittle BirdieTold Me

            Is this comment really the best you can do? When I was in college, I had to tutor/mentor the jock heads so they could pass their tests to play their silly little sports games. They were so stupid they couldn’t make it on their own! I take pride in the fact that it was the hard-working students that were responsible for saving these jocks’ educational lives and allowing them to graduate. So much for those “juice heads and lowlifes.” (What the hell is a juice head? Another worthless jibe when you can’t defend yourself).

          • DarthEVaderCheney

            I think you’d better count the comments in favor of punishments vs. your sad attempt to give the Wayne Hill brats a pass for bad behavior. You’re currently 19-1 in favor of punishment. So much for the “juice head jocks!” Yiiiiiiiish!!!

  • Surfin Bird

    I agree 100 percent.

    The previous that they were allowed to play in must be forfeited.

  • its good to know

    I think the people responsible for the education of these players should be punished as well. When boys at this age are behaving this way, we see that their education was lousy. Shame on the people who raised them.

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