10 Lake Oswego football players suspended for violating code of conduct

LAKE OSWEGO, Ore. -- The Lake Oswego High School football team is regrouping to start the season after 10 of its players were suspended for violating the school's athletic code of conduct.

Head coach Steve Coury wouldn't say Monday why the players are in trouble, other than that it involves peer pressure.

The players in question were allowed to practice Monday, but they're benched for the first four games of the season. One of those games is a jamboree set for Thursday.

That game doesn't count in the team's overall season record.

All the players are seniors and all but one are probable starters.

Coury said the incident happened at the annual senior football retreat earlier this month when the boys were sitting around a campfire late at night with no adults around. A parent of one of the players told The Oregonian that his son - along with the other boys - is in trouble for smoking pot around the campfire at that retreat.

"One of the biggest thing that kids face in this, in high school ages, is peer pressure," Coury said. "Hopefully all of them again will learn about peer pressure and being able to say no and be able to stand up for what's right."

Coury also said he asked the players the following morning to raise their hands if they were involved, and the 10 players who are now suspended did just that. He said the players didn't try to hide what they did.

"I'm proud to say that the kids all stepped up to it when I asked them (that) I need everyone to stand up that was involved," Coury said. "Every single one of those kids stood up and took accounts for their actions, and then we took the appropriate steps to do the punishments."

Every player on the team has to sign the academic code of conduct before they can hit the field. That's an agreement to follow the rules, and it puts them on notice about punishments.

In addition to missing the first four games of the season, the players are suspended from three days of school. They are allowed to attend practices and be on the sidelines at games, but they're not allowed to wear uniforms.

Coury said the players are spending their time at practices helping younger players get ready to take their places.

The principal of Lake Oswego High School said the punishments are fair and she supports the way Coury has handled the incident.

No police report was filed, according to the sheriff's office.