Lacrosse player disciplined for tainting drinking water Oakland Mills forfeits game

2 Hammond players and coach unknowingly drank urine from bottle

April 16, 1997|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

An Oakland Mills High School lacrosse player has been disciplined for urinating into a water bottle used by Hammond High School in a game last week, according to Howard County school officials.

The player -- a junior second team midfielder -- stole one of Hammond's dark-blue water bottles before the game last Thursday and replaced the water with urine, the officials said.

Midway through the first half, Hammond head coach Larry Luthe and two of his players drank from the bottle. Luthe said that he checked the contents and vomited after discovering the urine.

He and his players have taken a series of three shots for hepatitis B. Luthe said health officials have assured him that hepatitis is the only danger from drinking the urine, though he has also asked that the Oakland Mills player be tested for AIDS.

"The incident is inexcusable, and the team and school administration felt that in the interest of fairness we should forfeit the game," Oakland Mills head coach Ken Hovet said.

He refused to identify the player -- who, he said, confessed after the game when he was questioned by his coaches -- or specify his punishment.

"There is nothing funny about it," Hovet said. "Larry [Luthe] is a friend of mine. Our players were angry that it happened. I've never heard of anything like it before."

Oakland Mills Principal Marshall Peterson forfeited the game, which Oakland Mills had won 15-8. The forfeit damages the school's hopes for a county title.

"This was an unfortunate and regrettable incident, and we are all tremendously apologetic to the Hammond team and community," Peterson said.

Peterson and Hovet apologized in person to those who drank from the bottle.

"And the player apologized to me right after the game," Luthe said. "He just thought it'd be funny and he wouldn't get the response that he did. It's an unfortunate incident but was handled by all parties as best as possible. I'm satisfied with the outcome. We're not happy. But it happened."

The incident is thought to have been inspired by a scene in the movie "Dumb and Dumber."

"We need to look at the media images of professional athletes, the movie media and what we portray as either being funny or behavior tolerated by pro athletes, because kids don't see real consequences," Peterson said.

Pub Date: 4/16/97

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