Robby Robinson, who was the head coach and athletic director at McIntosh County Academy (GA), has been indicted by a grand jury on charges of misdemeanor reckless conduct, a count of misdemeanor hazing, and one count of felony cruelty to children in the second degree for an incident that took place under his watch, on the practice field.
According to the Florida Times-Union, the charges stem from an incident during practice where a player suffered a concussion when he was blind-sided standing in a huddle as the team practiced as a result of some sort of strange hazing ritual for “not showing the proper respect to the team’s senior leadership.” The student that suffered the concussion had to miss about a month of school recovering from the vision and headache problems that the unnecessary hit caused.
The player had apparently been warned about the hit ahead of time, and reported it to a coach, but nothing was done about it. At least two other players had been hurt in similar hazing incidents, according to the report.
Robinson was relieved of his duties as athletic director last month, and released from his head coaching duties about a week ago, and has not yet been booked on the charges or had a warrant or indictment issued on his behalf.
This story should serve as an important reminder to coaches on the seriousness of hazing and the major effect it can have on individuals in your program, and also that you can be held criminally responsible in some cases.
It doesn’t take much time or effort to stroll through your locker room before and after practice just to check in on players and build relationships outside of football with every guy on your roster, and ask your coaches to do the same to make sure players know that this type of thing is not acceptable in your program.