School officials reinstate football program

    PHILOMATH — An Oregon high school is resuming its football program in the wake of hazing accusations that depleted the team's membership.

    The Philomath School Board voted Thursday night to reinstate football activities immediately, The Corvallis Gazette-Times reported. The future of Philomath High School's 2016 season, however, is unclear.

    Board members say they are concerned that there may not be enough eligible players available to finish out the varsity season. Officials have asked the interim coaching staff to evaluate the remaining players and make a recommendation on whether the team should limit itself to junior varsity competition.

    Six varsity players have been cited with the juvenile equivalent of harassment and assault charges from an incident at the team's July conditioning camp. The team's assistant coach, Cooper Kikuta, 22, is also facing a criminal mistreatment charge.

    Kikuta is a former Philomath football player.

    The Benton County District Attorney's office announced the changes Monday after a six-week investigation by Oregon State Police and the Clatsop County Sheriff's Office. Prosecutors say there are 11 freshmen victims in the case.

    The coaching staff has been placed on administrative leave.

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