WAYNE, NJ (CBSNewYork) — They’re benched.
New Jersey’s state education commissioner upheld the suspension of nine New Jersey high school football players. The move prevents them from playing in Saturday’s championship game.
The players were suspended based on accusations that they beat up two students from rival high school Wayne Valley following an October house party. Police say the fight took place on the street after a party and that nine kids took on two.
The football players, eight juveniles and one adult, face assault charges stemming from the fight. A superior court judge had previously denied a motion to stay the suspensions.
One Wayne Hills student who spoke to CBS 2’s Christine Sloan said it was about time the move was made.
“I think they should have been suspended like a long time ago, but I don’t think they should be playing,” Jada Lojick-Havey said.
Others, however, disagreed with that sentiment.
“I think don’t think it’s that fair. They should definitely let them play,” Grant Kelly said.
Lawyers for the nine players say they are innocent until proven guilty and that barring them from Saturday’s game will do irreparable harm.
The attorney representing one of the players said his client wasn’t even at the alleged fight and now he may miss out on scouts at the game and scholarships.
“One of the questions asked was ‘did you assault anyone on the eve of October 29th’ his answer was ‘no’ and he passed the polygraph with flying colors,” defense attorney Darren Del Sardo said.
CBS 2 was unable to contact the two alleged victims because they are minors. Their names have not been released, but according to the decision upheld Friday, one of them wrote on his Facebook page after the attack, allegedly saying “Honestly I want to kill these kids.”
An attorney for one of the players also said that depsite getting a police escort to the game every year, it won’t happen this year. Saturday’s sectional championship game will take place at MetLife Stadium.
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