CHICO, Calif. - A sportsmanship penalty given to the Chico High School football team during the Almond Bowl has reportedly led to some bullying and harassment of cheerleaders by football players.
During the Almond Bowl game between Chico High School and Pleasant Valley High School, referees determined that the Chico High School cheerleaders remained on the field too long between quarters, and gave the team a 10-yard penalty.
According to administrators, the cheerleaders were allowed a minute on the field between the first and second quarters of the game to cheer, and once the minute was up, they needed to get off the field.
But Teresa Tindill, one of the Chico High's cheearleading coaches, disputes that assertion, telling KRCR News Channel 7 the team was told when they were supposed to perform, but not for how long. She says the squad was surprised when they were ordered off the field, and were not sure what was happening.
It was in the ensuing confusion that controversy arose. The parent of two Chico High School cheerleaders issued a public statement in the Chico Enterprise-Record that the Chico High School Football Coach Jason Alvistur screamed expletives at the girls.
The parent, Amy Harris-Meyer, also mentioned that several football players attempted to spit on the cheerleaders as they left the field.
Chico High School Principal Jim Hanlon said that the accusations Harris-Mayer made were untrue, but he said that there had been bullying going on following the game.
Hanlon said that the football coach had used no profanity and that the players did not spit at the girls but he did have to invite a hand full of players into his office along with their parents.
Hanlon also said that one football player had been suspended because of the bullying and harassment.
You can read Amy Harris-Mayer's letter below:
In response to Chico High School Principal Jim Hanlon's letter, "Cheerleaders not to blame for penalty," what Hanlon failed to address or take responsibility for is the poor conduct of his varsity football coach and the deplorable behavior of a few players. That's what he should be embarrassed about, not the resulting penalty flag due to his staff's lack of communication.
Hanlon has totally missed the point and seems to be ignoring the real issue — bullying.
As a parent of two Chico High School cheerleaders, I've seen firsthand how devastated and embarrassed the girls were when Chico High School varsity football coach Jason Alvistur screamed "get the (expletive) off the field" at the girls. His lack of leadership and professionalism sparked a barrage of insults to be hurled at the girls from players on his team. Players called them "stupid (expletive)" and tried to spit on them as they left the field. I'd like Hanlon to be "ultimately responsibility" for that "embarrassing situation."
Furthermore, I'm disappointed that Hanlon chose to make a public statement via a letter to the editor before he addressed the issue with the many parents who have asked to meet with him both personally and privately to discuss the matter.
— Amy Harris-Mayer, Chico