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Apollo-Ridge football players suspended

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By Liz Hayes and Paul Kogut
Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2010

A "small group" of Apollo-Ridge football players have been disciplined for an incident involving cell phone cameras during training camp.

Apollo-Ridge Superintendent Margaret DiNinno confirmed the incident but declined to specify what the players did wrong.

When asked if the incident involved "sexting," or sending sexually explicit images through cell phones, DiNinno said: "As we know and define sexting, that is not what occurred here. It certainly does not warrant the extreme concern some people might feel relative to a typical sexting scenario."

DiNinno said the players will be suspended from participating in some football games but did not say how long the athletic suspension would last. She also would not say whether the students faced other disciplinary actions and cited student confidentially.

Apollo-Ridge, which finished 3-6 in the Class AA Allegheny Conference last season, will open the regular season at Class AAA Indiana at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.

Apollo-Ridge Athletic Director Ray Bartha said he probably would make a statement about the incident and disciplinary action within the next couple of days. He declined further comment.

Apollo-Ridge coach John Simon, who enters his third season at the helm, did not return phone calls.

DiNinno said she hopes the students will treat the incident as a learning experience.

"Sometimes, these things turn into learning opportunities," she said. "These are kids. We're hoping they learn from this, and it prevents something more serious from happening in the future."

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