A Massachusetts high school principal is seeking an independent investigation into allegations that hockey coaches kept athletes from eating and drinking as punishment for losing games.
Andover High School Principal Philip Conrad said in a statement on Tuesday that due to his relation with the three coaches under investigation, he plans to retain the services of an independent professional.
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 this week to begin its own investigation.
"Given the level of public interest in this situation and the need to have a finding which cannot be challenged for any reason, as well as the fact that the coaches have a reporting relationship to me as their supervisor, I feel that it is in the best interests of Andover High School to retain professional services," Conrad said in the statement.
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 has 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.