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High School Forfeits Football Game after YouTube Video | News

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High School Forfeits Football Game after YouTube Video

The Laurel Leader reports that St. Vincent Pallotti, a private high school in Laurel, has canceled its varsity football game Thursday against Western Tech, of Catonsville, because of a  rap video made by a number of players that appeared on YouTube, which Principal Steve Edmonds said reflects poorly on the school and the players.

The scheduled home game will be recorded as a forfeit.

Edmonds also said the season has been suspended until at least Monday and did not rule out canceling the remainder of the season. "It is possible," he said.

Pallotti coach Pat Courtemanche sent out an e-mail at 11:51 p.m. Wednesday that read: “Just wanted to inform everyone that the Western Tech/Pallotti football game has been canceled and as a result of it Pallotti will forfeit the game to Western Tech. If anyone has any questions, please direct it to our principal Mr. Steve Edmonds.”

Edmonds told the Laurel Leader  Thursday morning that he suspended the season starting with practice on Wednesday after he saw a rap video on YouTube that was made by “10 to 12” Pallotti varsity players after practice in the school locker room on Monday. Edmonds said the team will not practice or play until at least Monday, when he will make a decision on the rest of the season.

“They posted something on YouTube with a rap song that was definitely questionable,” Edmonds said. “I would not suspend the game if it was just one person (doing the video). I guess you could call it a rap song that poorly reflects on them and the school. We have asked that it be taken down.”

Edmonds said he saw the video about 2 p.m. on Wednesday, and he called off the Western Tech game about one hour later. “The program, at this point, is suspended,” he said.

“Pallotti High is known for having high standards. More than developing football players, the school is about developing young men and women with integrity,” Edmonds said. “We expect all of our students to have a moral code and ethics to represent a Christian school. There was some behavior that brought some attention to the team that was inappropriate.

"We decided one of the consequences would be the suspension of the game. It is time for them (football players) to step back and reflect and make sure they are focused on the right things. I want them to step back and think about it. Monday, I will make a decision" on the rest of the season.

Edmonds said no student-athletes have been suspended from school and no coaches have been disciplined.

The game was scheduled to be played today at 3:30 p.m. at Fairland Regional Park in West Laurel. Pallotti plays in the C division of the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA). The commissioner of the MIAA is Rick Diggs, who is also the assistant principal for operations at Pallotti.

Calls to Diggs and Jennifer Martinez, the athletic director at Western Tech, were not immediately returned Thursday morning.

The Panthers (1-2) began the season with a 33-13 loss to Maryland School for the Deaf at Fairland, then won at Severn, 33-21. Pallotti last played on Sept. 11 at Bullis and lost, 31-15.

The next game  on the schedule for the Panthers is Sept. 24 at Fairland against Baltimore Friends.

The Pallotti JV football team’s game at Western Tech will be played Thursday, Edmonds said.