SAYREVILLE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Controversy has erupted after Sayreville High School in New Jersey suddenly canceled three football games, and prosecutors have also launched an investigation into what sources told CBS 2 may have been hazing.

As CBS 2’s Christine Sloan reported, parents of some members of the team in packed a room and demanded answers Friday about why three games were canceled.

Sayreville public schools posted the following statement on its Facebook page Thursday:

“Due to serious unforeseen circumstances, the Sayreville Bomber varsity football game scheduled to be played this evening against South Brunswick has been cancelled. In addition, the freshmen football game scheduled for this afternoon and the junior varsity game schedule for Monday afternoon have also been postponed. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience that may result from this change.”

But not everyone was about to accept apologies so easily.

“Are you going to have a meeting with us before the press to let us know what really happened so we can understand?” one woman demanded.

The superintendent said he canceled the varsity, junior varsity, and freshman football games because of serious allegations.

“If true, (the allegations) would indicate inappropriate conduct at a significant and serious nature within the high school football program,” said Sayreville Supt. Richard Labbe.

Labbe stopped short of calling the conduct a hazing incident, and would not say whether football players or staff members have been disciplined.

But CBS 2 News has learned that the investigation is of a sexual nature, and centers around several members of the football team.

While the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s office has not commented, sources said it was not just one incident, but was ongoing.

Authorities were interviewing some parents and players Friday. But parents said students who did nothing wrong have been left to pay a penalty.

“Why are the innocent children who have worked so hard, and their futures depend on our football program — why are they being punished?” one mother said.

“The decision to cancel the football game, and then to forfeit the game was made by me,” Labbe responded to the complaints. “We take zero tolerance to any form of harassment, intimidation, or bullying.”

Some students have talked to their parents about what they have heard.

“It’s not good,” said parent Jennifer Dino. “From what she has told me — if it’s true, because, you know, kids talk – it’s not appropriate, and I am baffled that this would go on.”

As CBS 2’s Sonia Rincon reported, Sayreville students also said what they had heard about what happened was highly disturbing.

“Like, I heard, like, it was supposed to be a senior prank. But like, how could that be a prank?” said Sayreville senior Chris Bruce. “That’s just like, wrong in so many different ways.”

Another parent told CBS 2 us off camera that his son spoke with investigators about harassment he witnessed in the locker room. He said freshmen were afraid of the upperclassmen and didn’t want to change clothes around them.

The father said it wasn’t until the investigation was launched that he realized how serious the allegations were.

He also said he wondered if the coaches, who were trusted with the students’ safety, looked the other way.

Bruce said he was glad the matter was being investigated.

“It’s not like a small little thing they can push under the carpet,” he said. “It’s, like, a big deal.”

And the mystery has some parents scared and even pulling their children out of classes.

“I went and took her out early, because I don’t want her in school ’til I find out what’s going on,” a mother said.

Labbe said the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s office and Sayreville police are handling the investigation, and no one had been disciplined by the school as of Friday.

Some students were nervous about what will happen if the football team that has made the Sayreville community proud will have to forfeit more games, and if the investigation could cost them the whole season.

The superintendent said he indeed is not sure if there will be another game at all, and it all depends on the investigation.

He said if anyone has any information about any inappropriate conduct in the Sayreville football team, they should contact police immediately.

Assistant Coach Charged With Having Steroids In Separate Case

The school has also launched an investigation into an unrelated problem not connected to the game cancellation. An assistant coach on the football team — Charlie Garcia, 38, of South Plainfield – has been charged with possessing steroids and syringes in Bridgewater.

Garcia was stopped by police at a motel in Bridgewater last week, police said. An officer saw Garcia’s Dodge pickup truck in the parking lot of a motel that police said has been the scene of past criminal activity.

Charlie Garcia (credit: Somerset County Prosecutor's Office)

Charlie Garcia (credit: Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office)

Garcia, who was in the truck at the time, left the motel and was followed by police. He was eventually stopped for making an improper lane change, police said.

Garcia was questioned by police. When he gave conflicting reports as to his previous whereabouts, police had a dog do a scan of the vehicle which yielded positive alerts for controlled dangerous substances, police said.

Garcia allowed the officers to search inside his car and they found a plastic white bag containing 2 sealed boxes of steroids and 14 individually sealed and capped syringes, police said.

In addition to the traffic summonses, Garcia was charged with possession of steroids, and possession of hypodermic needles.

Garcia’s attorney said his client resigned his position as coach earlier this week, according to an NJ.com report. Attorney Philip Nettl told the publication the allegations have nothing to do with the football program at Sayreville.

But school officials said Sayreville police are looking to see whether students are affected, Sloan reported.

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