The athletic director at a suburban Chicago high school has pulled the varsity baseball team from competing in the state playoffs after school officials learned the players were sharing "inappropriate" photos of some of their female classmates.
Chris Livatino, the athletic director at Evanston Township High School informed the Illinois High School Association his school's baseball team would forfeit the game -- and hence the playoffs -- since there were "not enough players to play the game," the Tribune reports. The players were rendered ineligible after being disciplined or suspended in relation to the "sexting" incident.
A report from earlier this week tipped off Evanston Township High School officials to the existence of the risquè photos, according to the Sun-Times. In a letter to parents, the school's superintendent Eric Witherspoon said some female students had sent inappropriate photos of themselves to members of the varsity baseball team.
The baseball players in turn shared those photos with others, Witherspoon wrote.
After talking with each of the players this week, Evanston's athletic director sent a letter to parents of the players letting them know the team would be forfeiting upcoming games, ABC Chicago reports.
"We believe that the complicit behavior of the team and the degradation of fellow female classmates is completely unacceptable as representatives of Evanston Township High School. For this reason we do not feel that this team should represent ETHS in the IHSA State Baseball Playoffs," the letter to parents read.
Some parents complained the school's decision was "unfair" and arbitrary, according to ABC.
According to the Illinois Bar Association, sexting can have serious legal consequences and may be criminal depending on the age of those pictured and the nature of the images. The association says "one in five teenagers has sent sexually suggestive, nude or semi-nude 'sext' messages by phone or otherwise."