LAND O’LAKES, Fla. (WFLA) — A Pasco County football program is under scrutiny for something that happened off the field.
But Wednesday, the football team at Land O’ Lakes High School received clearance to play in Friday’s game.
A rough start on the field at the beginning of high school football season is nothing new as players adjust to their new teammates, but it’s incidents happening off the field that are shaking up Friday night lights across the state.
In Brevard County, Viera High School’s football program is now in shambles after a video showing hazing involving members of the football team circulated on social media.
“We’ve fired the head coach, right, we’ve removed the head coach, we’ve taken the kids, we are going to be sending them off to ALC and expulsion,” said Matt Susin, the chairman of the school board. “Then we are going to be moving into suspending the program until we feel that the program actually understands what hazing is and what’s inappropriate.”
In Jacksonville, a juvenile was taken to the hospital Friday night after police say he began firing a gun as several fights broke out after a high school football game.
A student who was at the game said, “We were at the football game having a good time.”
“During the second quarter, we saw a couple fights break out,” he continued. “One shot let out, after that a couple more, about like 20 shots.”
In the Tampa Bay area, Pasco County Schools temporarily suspended Land O’ Lakes High School’s football coaches.
It all started Monday with a fight between two players after practice, something the district worried was a hazing incident.
As the district investigated, all football operations were put on hold, including all practices, on-campus conditioning, and games.
Pasco County Schools released a statement saying, “We are deeply concerned about the safety and well-being of our students and take these allegations seriously. We assure parents, students, and the community that we are taking the necessary steps to address the situation.”
The school district tells 8 On Your Side after investigating, they don’t believe this was a hazing incident and was just a fight between two players.
They’re now taking steps to get the football team ready for Friday’s big game, which is now back on.