School Board upholds Wisconsin Rapids wrestling team sanctions
WISCONSIN RAPIDS (WAOW)--The Wisconsin Rapids School board voted unanimously Monday night to uphold punishments for the wrestling team brought on after four players were charged with disorderly conduct.
The team's coach was suspended by Lincoln High School principal Ryan Christianson earlier this year, and the team has been barred from competing in two wrestling tournaments: The Clash and The Cheesehead.
Former Wisconsin Rapids wrestling coach David Gliniecki said the sanctions should be rescinded. "Because those sanctions have been imposed, the general public feels that hey, if sanctions have been imposed, they must be guilty."
At Monday night's Board meeting, he argued that the entire team shouldn't be punished for the actions of a few athletes. But the Board disagreed, voting unanimously to uphold Coach Scott Benitz's suspension and bar the team from competing in the two tournaments.
"The Board supports the action taken by the administrative team. The Board and administration are mindful of what is best for all students," said School Board President Mary Rayome.
In May, prosecutors filed charges of disorderly conduct against four wrestlers: Ryan Lubeck, Devin Peterson, Kasey Einerson and Zak Benitz. Prosecutors say the wrestlers danced around the locker room naked and put their genitals on a freshman teammate several times last season.
Members of the public weren't shy about voicing their opinions. Six people spoke in favor of rescinding the sanctions, while only one said more should be imposed.
The Board has agreed to adopt a code of conduct for all coaches and staff. It is being drafted right now and district leaders hope to implement those rules later this year.
The four wrestlers charged in the case are scheduled to appear in court in November.