Einstein High School this week suspended five seniors from its wrestling team for three days after a hazing incident involving a freshman teammate. The Titans also were forced to forfeit a match last Saturday against Walter Johnson.

Montgomery County coordinator of athletics Duke Beattie said he backs the Einstein administration's handling of the situation, first reported in yesterday's Montgomery Journal.

Beattie said the county has a long-standing policy against hazing. The state's high school athletic handbook states: "Hazing of any nature is prohibited. Players shall not be subjected to any 'initiation rights' whatsoever."

"We just don't give lip-service to our policy on an item like hazing. That's an item we take very seriously," Beattie said. "I think Einstein handled the matter swiftly and appropriately."

Ficker Loses Suit

Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge James Chapin on Tuesday ruled in favor of the Maryland Board of Education in a lawsuit filed by attorney Robin Ficker, who argued that the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association wrestling committee's decision not to have a 215-pound weight class created a safety concern.

Chapin said the committee was not being "arbitrary or capricious" by not having a 215-pound weight class and denied an attempt to make it mandatory next season.

The National Federation of State High School Associations voted to permit states to establish a 215-pound weight class for the 1994-95 school year. Maryland is one of eight states that has not adopted the weight class.

Ficker, whose son is a heavyweight at DeMatha, argued that the gap between 189 pounds and heavyweight (which has a 275-pound maximum) is too great and represents a safety concern. Bruce Cowan, chairman of the MPSSAA wrestling committee, said the committee reviewed the weight class and found no evidence of safety problems.