Hazing allegations involve East Carter ball players
By: CJ Cassidy
ELLSINORE, Mo. - Accusations of abuse involving local athletes; now, folks in Ellsinore demand answers.
They want to know if a hazing incident involving young basketball players spun out of control.
That's what everyone wants to know.
The players in question are from the East Carter County School District in Ellsinore.
The four day camp took place in early June at Lyon College in Batesville, Arkansas.
School leaders and police can't talk about the actual allegations because they involve juveniles.
People in town say some older players attacked younger players, and some of the alleged acts are so sickening, they just can't talk about them.
"I heard there was pretty bad abuse sexual abuse," said Cindy Walters of Ellsinore.
Talk about those allegations at the Corner Café are hush hush.
No one seems to want to take a side or figure out if any ugliness could really exist in their town. After all, the Corner Café is where the Carter County Redbirds flock to celebrate their victories.
"I've never seen nothing like this had some bad things happen in this town, but not to children," said Shirley Woods.
"It involves a lot of people everybody's related to, or something with that many boys," Walters said.
"We had 22 players that attended the camp," Superintendent Tim Hager said. He can't tell us much more, because the players in question are so young, ranging in age from 13 to 16.
"This was really from what I gather a hazing episode that maybe went to far allegedly," Hager said.
Investigators say they don't know if any sexual abuse took place between any players, but they are investigating allegations of abuse.
Folks in Ellsinore who say they spend hours cheering on basketball players to victory hope the alleged victims now have the courage to go up against their alleged attackers.
"Kids are afraid, once everybody finds out other kids are going to make fun of them kids can be cruel," Walters said.
Folks in town say parents of alleged victims met on Monday.
They're expected to attend a school board meeting but the Superintendent said he will only discuss the issue in an executive session with other teachers afterward.