No charges expected against MHS football players

Manhattan High School football players scrimmage on Aug. 27, 2015. (Staff photo by Tyler Dreiling)

There will be no charges against members of the Manhattan High School football team for their part in the reported “birthday beatdowns” that made headlines last fall.

According to media reports Thursday, a letter sent to the Riley County Attorney’s Office from Lyon County Attorney Marc Goodman said there was not enough admissible evidence to gain a conviction.

Goodman was appointed as a special prosecutor in the case after the Riley County Attourney’s Office recused itself. Riley County Attorney Barry Wilkerson said in December that his office has two employees who have a child or relative who are members of the football team.

The matter stems from investigations into hazing and the football program that first came to light in October when the RCPD was called to Bishop Stadium for a report of battery.

The incident put head coach Joe Schartz’s job security in question until superintendent Marvin Wade said in January he’d remain a coach and teacher. On Dec. 22 Wilkerson announced there would be no charges against Schartz for child endangerment.

Goodman said the students actions did not violate the law against hazing, which requires an act that could result in death or great bodily harm that must be done to join a social or fraternal organization. He said their actions were not necessary to join the team or any other organization.

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