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Future Of Sayreville High School Football Team Rocked By Hazing Allegations Unclear

SAYREVILLE, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- The superintendent who canceled Sayreville High School's football season after allegations of hazing says he is weighing whether to restore the program after this season.

Sources told CBS 2 that's because school officials are also looking into whether the alleged hazing ritual started even before this school year. However, a victim would have to come forward for prosecutors to look into any past allegations, sources said.

Superintendent Richard Labbe told that he's not sure the football program will return based on the severity of the charges.

He said he has to look at the results of the investigation and is waiting for more information from the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office.

Students returned to Sayreville High School for the first time Monday since the arrest of seven of their classmates last week. The seven students, who range in age from 15 to 17, face sex-crime charges in connection with the alleged hazing.

Three were charged with aggravated sexual assault, criminal restraint, hazing and other crimes stemming from an act of sexual penetration upon one of the children. The other four students were charged with aggravated criminal sexual contact and other charges.

A source told CBS 2 there is a possibility the students could be charged as adults, CBS 2's Diane Macedo reported.

If they were to be charged as adults, the three students charged with aggravated sexual assault could face up to 20 years in prison if found guilty, CBS 2's Christine Sloan reported.

Pennsylvania State University has reportedly pulled its offer to a Sayreville senior after police were seen leaving his home Friday night just before the charges were announced, WCBS 880's Marla Diamond reported.

Penn State Reportedly Pulls Offer To Sayreville Senior

District officials said Sunday that all seven have been suspended. No coaches have been charged and it remains unclear if any knew about the alleged incidents.

Sources told Sloan investigators are interviewing witnesses to see if the coaches had any knowledge of the events.

But for classmates, the focus was on the victims.

"I'm kind of hoping they feel strong enough to come back to school. And when they come back to school, a lot of me and my friends will sit at the lunch table if no one really wants to," said freshman Patrick Smith.

"At this point the victims have not been identified to us yet, so what we're trying to do, in a sense, we're treating all of our children like victims," Labbe said.

On Sunday night, hundreds of people turned out for an anti-bullying rally in a park across the street from the school. Organizers said the event was held to promote unity and healing within the community and to show support for the victims of bullying.

Future Of Sayreville High School Football Team Unclear

Participants were given balloons, ribbons, stickers and candles. They were asked to walk around the lake at Kennedy Park and release the balloons or show other forms of support.

"I want to praise the young men who did speak up. It takes a lot of guts and courage," organizer Maureen Jenkins said.

"I want to support the Sayreville High School kids. I used to go to school here," said one attendee.

"We're just here to stop bullying in Sayreville and anywhere else. Just stop the bullying," said another woman.

Labbe also attended the event, saying counselors are on hand in school to look for signs of trauma and distress.

"We're monitoring all of our students extremely closely and giving obviously particular attention to the children on the football field and in particular the freshman players," he said.

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