Ex-Football Coach in Minnesota High-School Hazing Scandal Claims He’s a ‘Scapegoat’
A Minnesota high-school football coach who recently resigned amid allegations of a brutal hazing incident that prompted a police investigation claims he’s being scapegoated. “We feel thrown out there to be a scapegoat,” said Derek Parendo, the longtime coach at Proctor High School until his departure last week. He made the comments in an interview with the Minneapolis Star Tribune published Wednesday, his first on the scandal that has rocked the small town and led to the entire football season being canceled. “I was painted to be guilty, because when you send home a letter saying you are looking for new leadership, then you are pointing the finger at me to begin with,” Parendo was quoted saying of school administrators. School officials and police have been tight-lipped about the allegations that spurred an investigation into members of the football team, but students at the school spoke out about a video allegedly shared on social media that showed one football player being held down and sodomized with an object. Parendo said he was not present during the September incident involving football players, and that he does not know any details.