Young football player’s traumatic brain injury exposes culture of hazing at Mater Dei High

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At Mater Dei High School in Orange County, a hazing ritual severely injured a student football player, and now his family is suing. Photo by Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

A hazing ritual at Mater Dei High School left a young football player with a traumatic brain injury and a broken nose in February. Then a few weeks ago, the player’s family filed a lawsuit against the school and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange. The lawsuit alleges that school staff took extensive steps to minimize the situation, were reluctant to discipline players, and did not cooperate with a police investigation, amongst other things.

“According to the lawsuit, the father went to the coach Bruce Rollinson, a legend in prep sports, and Bruce Rollinson laughed about the whole thing, allegedly saying, ‘Oh, if I had $100 for every time that my players did bodies, I'd be a millionaire.’” That’s according to Gustavo Arellano, columnist for the LA Times.