12/20/2012 01:09 pm ET

Maine West High School Hazing: Michael Divincenzo Suspended After Board Votes For Coach's Firing

Michael Divincenzo's days at Maine West High School are numbered now that the school district unanimously voted to dismiss the varsity soccer coach linked to the team's hazing scandal Wednesday night.

Sean Sullivan, president of the Des Plaines, Ill. school board in District 207 said Divincenzo violated the district’s policy “by failing to adequately prevent, recognize, report and punish student hazing,” according to the Sun-Times.

While his dismissal is pending, NBC Chicago said Divincenzo is suspended without pay.

In the board's resolution, the coach was blasted for damaging the reputation of the school district and failing to serve as a proper role model, according to the Sun-Times. The civil lawsuit filed against the high school alleges a 14-year-old student and at least two other boys were sexually assaulted during soccer practice in September — during school hours in attacks condoned by coaches Divincenzo and freshman soccer coach, Emilio Rodriguez.

Should the ex-coach choose to challenge the board's decision, the Tribune reports the tenured teacher has 17 days to request a hearing on his dismissal through the Illinois State Board of Education. A hearing could take up to one year.

According to police reports, Divincenzo claimed the coaches knew nothing of the hazing, reports the Sun-Times. The Tribune reported more than 60 supporters, many of them ex-players and former students, turned out to support the coach and vouch for his character at a public meeting earlier Wednesday.

The Cook County State's Attorney's Office is looking into whether other district employees, such as Rodriguez, may have broken the law.


School Bullying Incidents
School Bullying Incidents