Hazing expert unsurprised by Carmel assault story


Rich Van Wyk/Eyewitness News

Carmel - The alleged assault on a bus carrying members of the Carmel boys' basketball team is no surprise to Hank Nuwer.

"Hardly a week goes by that we don't have two or three cases reported," said Nuwer.

An associate professor of Journalism at Franklin College, Nuwer has authored three books on hazing and is a nationally recognized authority on crimes he says are often unheard of.

"What is surprising is that a lot of cases, prosecutors won't level serious charges or schools are trying to handle it themselves," he said.

A 1999 study found dangerous hazing as prevalent in high schools as on college campuses. One in five students reporting humiliating or illegal rituals including nudity or sex acts.

"Objectionable acts done for the entertainment of the older students and for the revenge of older students if it has been done to them," said Nuwer.

How objectionable? Nuwer's "stop hazing" blog links to a recent report from New Mexico where a teenager confessed to participating in brutal sexual attack of fellow football players.

Nuwer credits intervention by the NCAA for the growing intolerance for hazing in college sports. He believes high schools have been to slow to adopt anti-hazing policies and prevention programs.

"If you would ask me where the next big incident would be, I would say a high school, not a college," he said.