Probations rescinded for Hamilton High football, Queen Creek baseball

The Arizona Interscholastic Association rescinded the probations for Hamilton High School football and Queen Creek High School baseball during a board meeting on Aug. 30.

The two programs were initially placed on probation by the AIA, making both ineligible for postseason play.

On Aug. 15, the AIA said an assistant football coach at Hamilton violated a recruitment rule by sending messages via social media to a player at another school, and Queen Creek violated the maximum number of pitches guidelines during the 2022 spring baseball tournament.

During Tuesday's meeting, the AIA board reduced the probations to warnings. Hamilton's warning was extended to its entire athletic program.

"A warning places a program or school in jeopardy of facing probation if another violation of any rule or regulation is committed," the AIA wrote on its website. "A school will not be eligible for the year-end Overall Excellence Award during the warning period."

Hamilton has seen previous sports-related incidents

This is not the first time Hamilton High School has been at the center of an incident related to its sports teams.

From 2017 to 2020, FOX 10 reported on a hazing incident involving the school's football team. According to reports, younger teammates were allegedly assaulted physically and sexually by other players.

Three people were charged in connection with the incident, with one of them, identified as Nathaniel Thomas, being charged as an adult. In February 2020, Thomas was sentenced to six months probation under a plea deal that saw him pleading guilty to aggravated assault. Lawsuits filed by the alleged victims were reportedly settled.

As for school administrators at the school, those who knew of the hazing incident back then, including the school's Principal, Athletic Director, Head Football Coach, and Assistant Football Coach were re-assigned. The Maricopa County Attorney at the time, Bill Montgomery, said there's not enough evidence to bring charges against school officials accused of failing to alert authorities about the alleged abuses.

Montgomery, who is now a justice on the Arizona Supreme Court, said at the time that many victims, witnesses or their parents would not cooperate with investigators.

"Parents just refused to give their children permission to talk to law enforcement," said Montgomery.

This story was reported on from Phoenix.

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