One of the top 25 football programs in the nation finds itself mired in a sex scandal as it prepares to play in a regional final playoff game after a female student at the school and her mother allege that four members of the school's football team pressured her into sexual acts in a school bathroom.
According to the Palm Beach Post, the mother of a Belle Glades (Fla.) Glades Central High student brought forward an allegation that her daughter was sexually assaulted by four members of the football team in October, only to be turned aside without any investigation launched by the school. When she later came to the school with her concerns a second time, Glades Central administrators reportedly launched a school police investigation, but no criminal findings or extracurricular punishments have been meted out as of yet.
The Palm Beach Post identified the four players involved, but since no formal charges have been filed, Prep Rally will refrain from doing so.
"Out here, they're big on football. I could care less about football when it comes to my daughter," the victim's mother, whose identity has been shielded by the Post, told the newspaper. "I don't think the school is handling it the way they should be handling it.
"I know that they took advantage of her, and I want to see justice done to those boys. I don't care if you lose scholarships because of it. I really don't. I don't care about a state game."
Immediately after the sexual encounter between the players and the woman's daughter, both the girl, who is a freshman at the school, and all four players were suspended form school. The mother clearly feels that her daughter's punishment was unwarranted and is pursuing further legal action. None of the players have been suspended from participating in any Glades Central games since the event allegedly took place.
According to the Post, there is also no indication that any of the players involved would be forced to miss Friday's regional final against Miami (Fla.) Norland High. With Glades Central currently ranked number 24 in the RivalsHigh 100, the game offers the program both a chance to move significantly closer to a Florida Class 5A title and, possibly, retain an outside chance at a national championship.
Dozens of upsets would likely need to occur to pave the way for a Glades Central national crown, but a state title itself would be an enormous honor. The question now is how Glades Central would cope with the loss of four key players in the middle of a deep state playoff run, or whether allowing four students who were allegedly involved in a sexual assault to participate in that chase would diminish the achievement.