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Locker Room Hazing

Albany, NY: (Mar-19-08) Lou Cioffi, a former athletic director for the Averill Park School District, brought a lawsuit against it, alleging that he was mistreated as part of a severe hazing incident in 2002. The suit stated that Cioffi worked in Averill Park schools from 1981 to 2002. He claimed that he was demoted after he complained publicly about how district officials handled an embarrassing hazing incident in the football locker room.

The incident, which took place in January 2002, had a 14-year-old freshman state that a teammate had dragged his genitals across his face in a hazing ritual called "tea-bagging." Following that, Cioffi held a news conference and claimed that he had warned administrators for several years about unhealthy and harmful locker room behavior. He said that no action was taken despite that. Cioffi alleged that District officials later told him that they were reorganizing his department and would save money by combining his position with another. Reports show that Cioffi was the only person to lose his job as a result of the alleged reorganization.

As part of a settlement reached, the former athletic director for the Averill Park School District will get more than $500,000 to resolve his retaliation lawsuit. The district is responsible for $27,500, with the remainder to be paid by the district's insurance carrier, bringing the total payout to $567,500. As part of the settlement, the district admitted no liability or wrongdoing, but said it was a move to avoid costs and risks of litigation. [TIMES UNION: FORMER ATHLETIC DIRECTOR'S SUIT SETTLED]

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Published on Mar-21-08


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