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Sexting scandal forces high school football team to forfeit its final scheduled game

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A Colorado high school mired in a nude photo investigation this week forfeited its final regular-season football game, after officials learned that several students — including a “large number” players on the team — were implicated in the alleged photo-sharing.

“We’re not talking a couple kids that did something stupid,” Cañon City superintendent George Welsh told the Denver Post. “This is large scale, a lot of kids, equally male and female.

“It would be impossible to field a full team of only players who we’re sure did not participate in this in any way.”

A district statement said officials had learned that “a number” of Cañon City High School students had “engaged in behavior where they take and pass along pictures of themselves that expose private parts of their bodies or their undergarments.”

The district noted in its statement that the Cañon City Police Department has been contacted about the allegations.

“Because a large number of our high school football players were implicated in this behavior the coaching staff and administration, after careful thought and consideration, decided that stepping on the field to play this weekend to represent the Cañon City community is just not an option,” the district’s statement said.

The Canon City Daily Record reported:

The coaching staff’s decision to forfeit the coming game was based on whether they could field a team that they were 100 percent sure had no participants in the infractions. With the 24 hours coaches had to come to their decision, they could not make that call, Welsh said.

Capt. Jim Cox, of Cañon police, said Friday the investigation was in its early stages, and authorities hadn’t even conducted their first interview yet.

Welsh told the Daily Record that the football team was impacted because its season was still going on, but also said “we are 100 percent sure that not all the football players participated in this behavior.”

“Don’t paint the entire football team — all the young men who have worked so hard all season — with the actions of what clearly enough people to cause us to cancel the game have done,” Welsh told the Denver Post.

“It’s certainly not everyone, and there’s a lot of darn good kids out there who worked hard and are suffering a penalty that they really don’t deserve.”

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