An independent investigation by a Massachusetts school district has concluded that allegations against the hockey coaches were "not sustained," according to the high school's principal on Tuesday.
The hockey coaches at Andover High School were accused of keeping athletes from eating and drinking as punishment for losing games.
"Andover Public Schools has concluded its independent investigation of the allegations filed with the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) against our ice hockey coaching staff," Principal Philip Conrad said in a statement. "Our investigation found that the allegations were 'Not Sustained.'"
The coaches were placed on administrative leave in late January. According to the school, the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families initially told the district to hold off while the child welfare agency conducted its investigation. The DCF gave the school approval to conduct its own investigation.
"It is my intention to reinstate the ice hockey coaches as soon as we can if I can confirm that the DCF investigation has reached the same conclusion," Conrad's letter continued. "However, at this point we have not received any communication of determination from the agency. As soon as we do I will be able to make a determination about returning the coaches to their full coaching duties. Unfortunately it does not appear that DCF is going to complete their investigation in accordance with the timeline originally provided to any of us by the agency."
A source told NBC10 Boston the coaches denied letting players have water after workouts or allowing them to eat after an on-the-road loss against St. Paul in Springfield.
The school has not identified any of the coaches being investigated. However, head coach Chris Kuchar said through his attorney that he strongly denies the allegations against him.
Junior Varsity hockey coach Peter Loring had been named the interim varsity head coach while the coaches being investigated are on leave.
None of the coaches is school district staff employees.
"The safety and well-being of our students is our most important priority, and I am disheartened to hear of the allegations against members of our coaching staff," Conrad said in a statement after the allegations came to light.