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"Our Guys" redux

Remembering that accusations don't prove anything, high school football players in an affluent New Jersey suburb have been accused of raping a 15-year old girl:

At Montclair High, a pastoral campus of broad lawns and brick buildings shaded by large oak trees and traversed by a brook, several football players emerging from practice said that a sports psychologist, Dr. Ben Brennan, had warned team members to be cautious around girls, and expressed concern that the accusations could reflect badly on the team.

It's good to know that the football players are being taught to be "cautious around girls." Those dangerous girls are liable to say all kinds of things that could really hurt the football team's reputation.

Ed Walker, 14, a freshman at Montclair High, said that many students were skeptical of the girl's account. "I think she's just saying stuff," he said. "A lot of people around the school say she's not serious." He called the accused youths "two of the most popular guys in the school."

Let's hope the freshman boys are the only ones on campus who aren't taking the accusations seriously.

"I think everyone in town is distressed by this," [the school superintendent] said. "Even though the incident didn't occur at the school or on school premises, these are still our students, and you feel a certain responsibility. Our main concern is for the well-being of the alleged victim and for the privacy of all involved."

Perhaps the Superintendent should also be concerned about preventing any further episodes of this kind of behavior. Some good old fashioned publicity might actually be good for the safety of the students on campus.

Corinne Cuozzo, 15, a sophomore at the school, said she was not surprised that Montclair students may have been involved in a sexual assault case. "I could definitely see this kind of thing happening here," she said. "It was just shocking that they got arrested for it. Kids here usually get arrested for something like lighting a garbage can on fire."

Anyone who's read about the 1989 rape of a retarded girl by several students on the football team in neighboring Glen Ridge can definitely see this kind of thing happening again, too. The only question is whether the willful ignorance of Glen Ridge will be repeated as well.