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Suspension Lifted For Football Program At S.I. High School After Hazing Scandal

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The New York City Department of Education agreed Friday to lift a suspension of the football program at Susan E. Wagner High School on Staten Island, following a hazing scandal.

As CBS2's Tony Aiello reported, there has been no practice this week, and the game that had been planned for Saturday against Port Richmond High School has been postponed indefinitely. But the Falcons of Susan E. Wagner were celebrating a victory Friday afternoon, as the season has been saved.

Outside the St. George Courthouse, attorney Rich Luthmann announced a deal had been reached on the suspension of football activities.

The deal came down as Luthmann was walking up the courthouse steps to file suit, 1010 WINS' Al Jones reported.

"The suspension of practices, meetings and games for both the junior varsity and varsity programs at Wagner High School has been lifted effective immediately," Luthmann announced.

Suspension Lifted For Football Program At S.I. High School After Hazing Scandal

The suspension was put in place at the school, at 1200 Manor Rd. on Staten Island, this past Tuesday. It followed allegations of hazing at a football summer camp in upstate Columbia County.

Players were allegedly hit with a broom and shot at with BB guns, and had phallic symbols drawn on them with magic marker.

Parents of players who were not implicated immediately protested that their sons were being treated unfairly.

"Football shouldn't be taken away from anybody," said parent Christopher Frange Sr. "You know what I'm saying? A sport – it keeps the kids together; it teaches them so much."

"It's really an injustice for us to have to fight to play what we've been working for so hard this season," added his son, football player Christopher Frange Jr.

Parents had hired an attorney, who appealed to Mayor Bill de Blasio and prepared to file a lawsuit.

But late Friday, the city agreed to lift the suspension while continuing to investigate the hazing allegations

"There were calls made from the highest levels of city government, and I'm very, very happy and I feel faith in our city government and our education system," Luthmann said.

Player Ahmad Othman said it would not be difficult to move on from the controversy.

"No, it will be a push. It will help us," he said. "It will help us throughout the season."

The first game of the season for the Falcons will come a week from Saturday against Tottenville.

Meanwhile, two volunteer coaches and four or five students have been suspended, and school administrators said they will add additional supervisors to all practices, meetings and games for the rest of the season.

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