WARREN, Mich. – Warren Da La Salle football coach Mike Giannone is no longer with the school as controversy continues to swirl around an alleged football hazing incident, officials said.
Warren police conducted an investigation into the De La Salle football program after the team forfeited its Michigan high school playoff game due to allegations of hazing. When officials completed their investigation, they recommended charges against three students -- an 18-year-old and two 16-year-olds, according to authorities.
Investigators said the incident happened Oct. 19 at a team dinner. Many of the younger players knew the hazing was coming, so they ran from their teammates, officials said.
Warren Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer said an investigation revealed the students allegedly held a victim to the floor of the locker room and used a broom during the incident.
Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith said the victim in the case didn’t want the case to go forward and refused to be interviewed by police.
Police said the 18-year-old student was 17 at the time of the incident. He could face an assault charge as an adult, according to authorities.
Special Prosecuting Attorney Michael D. Wendling, of the St. Clair County Prosecutor’s Office, has been appointed to the case, officials said.
Here is a statement from De La Salle:
"We have made our best effort to communicate regularly with the De La Salle Collegiate community and be forthright with our actions in regard to the alleged hazing incident(s). By now, you may have seen the news about the lawsuit that was filed against De La Salle today. We are also writing to inform you that Mike Giannone is no longer with our school.
"While we cannot comment on legal matters or human resources, we want to impart that we have been steadfast in maintaining the safety, health, and education of all De La Salle students as our top priority while we navigate this troubling issue. We have been working in full collaboration with our Board of Trustees and the Christian Brothers on all actions in response to the hazing allegations and will continue to do so as we address this lawsuit and other next steps.
“Our hearts and prayers are with those impacted by the hazing, particularly the students who were victimized and their families.”