Cooper: Nip hazing before it begins

Ooltewah High School head basketball coach Andrew "Tank" Montgomery has his hands full not only with his team but now with the rape and assault charges leveled at three of his now-dismissed players.

According to Tennessee law, every secondary school student in the state must be informed during the first month of a new school year about the state law against hazing, its ramifications as a criminal offense and the penalties that may be imposed by local school districts.

If an athletics director, the coach of a specific team or the sponsor of a particular organization chooses to reiterate those policies to teams and groups as a body, all the better.

Also read

* Basketball players charged with rape of teammate won't be coming back to school * Ooltewah students charged with rape, assault after teammate injured with pool cue * Ooltewah High School basketball player undergoes surgery after being allegedly hazed by three teammates in Gatlinburg cabin

For whatever reason, a group of basketball players at Ooltewah High School didn't pay attention to, choose to ignore or didn't get the message.