2 East End high school football teams probed for misconduct

This Newsday file photo composite shows a Southampton

This Newsday file photo composite shows a Southampton High School football helmet, left, and a Hampton Bays High School football helmet. (Credit: Newsday file photos)

Officials at two East End districts had their high school football teams forfeit their final games of the regular season this weekend because of unrelated reports of misconduct.

Southampton pulled out of its Friday night game against host Mercy, while Hampton Bays forfeited its game Saturday afternoon at Greenport/Southold, officials said.

Both incidents involved the schools' varsity teams.

"We are investigating and have taken preliminary action on an incident that was brought to our attention Thursday regarding the varsity football program," read a statement Southampton Public Schools posted on its website.

"The safety and security of our student population is paramount, and we take reports of misconduct seriously. As a result of our preliminary actions, we were not able to field a complete team for last night's final game of the season," the district said. "We expect both students and staff to uphold high moral standards and exhibit positive character traits both on and off the field."

The district said it could not provide further details due to the pending investigation.

Southampton High School Principal Brian Zahn said last night that "an incident was reported to us about something involving the football team."

"We did not have enough players to field a varsity level team," he said, "so that's why we forfeited the game."

He also declined to comment further, noting, "It's an active investigation."

The Mariners are 1-6 this season.

Hampton Bays Superintendent Lars Clemensen said in a statement that the district canceled the game "based on patterns of reported conduct that is unbecoming of Hampton Bays student-athletes."

"This is an internal disciplinary matter because it deals with students and the issue is being dealt with in accordance with our code of conduct," he said.

Asked whether any disciplinary action has been taken, Deirdre Gilligan, a spokeswoman for both districts, wrote in an email: "No personnel decisions have been made yet for either Hampton Bays or Southampton."

The head coaches and athletic directors of the teams did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

With Joan Gralla

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