Maine West Coach Seeks Hearing Over Dismissal

Michael Divincenzo was suspended with pay last month

Friday, Jan 4, 2013  |  Updated 9:28 PM CDT
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Maine West Hazing Victim Speaks Out

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Maine West Coach Dismissed in Hazing Scandal

For roughly three hours Wednesday evening, district officials heard from former players and parents who defended Michael DiVinsenzo. Lauren Jiggetts reports.

Maine West Hazing Victim Speaks Out

For the first time, a victim of the alleged hazing at Maine West High School has come forward to publicly tell his story.
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One of the coaches accused of turning a blind eye to hazing at Maine West High School has filed a letter with the state Board of Education requesting a hearing to overturn his dismissal.

Michael Divincenzo was suspended with pay last month in a unanimous vote Maine Township High School District 207 board members.

An Illinois State Board of Education spokeswoman confirmed to the Chicago Tribune on Friday that the board had received a letter of appeal from Divicenzo.

The process of appeal could take a year or more, district officials said.

A civil lawsuit alleges Divincenzo condoned a culture of hazing. Four students say they were sexually assaulted by their teammates and that Divincenzo and freshman coach Emilio Rodriguez knew what was going on.

In one alleged incident, Divincenzo is accused of watching a soccer player being sexually assaulted by members last July. A police report obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times indicated Divincenzo congratulated the victim after the episode and "asked him if it was all good."

Another student who said he was victimized in 2007, at age 14, came forward on Thursday to publicly tell his tale.

The student, requesting anonymity, said he was tackled by soccer players at a summer camp and sodomized.

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