COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- After KRDO reported that the El Paso County Sheriff's Office is investigating sexual misconduct among players on the Falcon High School football team, we're now learning that District 49 has placed the football team coaches on administrative leave due to their knowledge of the incident.
Few details about the incident have been released, but the sheriff's office confirmed the investigation could be criminal in nature. District 49 has said the incident constitutes hazing and harassment.
"Through the course of an investigation with FHS and district administrators in collaboration with our law enforcement partners at the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, we have learned that adults, including multiple coaches and multiple parents knew of hazing and harassment activities within the FHS football team that later escalated into the claims that are under investigation by local law enforcement," Falcon HS Principal Darryl Bonds said in a statement Wednesday.
Bonds also said that the hazing included "teammates from multiple grade levels" who observed and participated. Bonds added that at least one student recorded the incident.
Bonds added that there have been reports of "threats and harassment directed against the students who made the initial report."
The El Paso County Sheriff's Office told us on Tuesday that the case had been under investigation for a little over a day, however, emails obtained by KRDO show that district officials knew about the reported incident last week.
Bonds didn't specify which coaches were aware of the incident and placed on leave.
The Falcon High School principal pointed out that the hazing incident "has affected students program-wide and even extended into the larger community, which is why our response must be strong and decisive."
"Coaches, parents, and students have told us they did not report what they knew because it might negatively affect their playing status or the team’s season. That is unacceptable. The silence created the conditions that prolonged the harassment and hazing of smaller and younger students. We consider this misconduct to be a violation of our cultural compass as well as CHSAA standards and our district code of conduct," Bonds said.
The football team's activities have been suspended, and any games taking place while the suspension is in place will be forfeited.
We reached out to Falcon High School Football coach Darrel Gorham and District 49's Athletic Director Chad Belveal on Tuesday but didn't get a response.
This is a developing story, check back for updates.