FORT MYERS, FLa. -- The Lee County School District suspended nine Lehigh Senior High School student athletes and banned them from playing any sports for the remainder of the year. While the punishment has now been reduced, students at the school can't stop talking about the video and the controversy surrounding the suspensions.
"They know when they put that out that people were going to see that and they knew it was going to come around. They should have thought more about it and they should have made it cleaner," said Kiara Alonso.
"Getting them kicked off the team, that's just going to effect the whole school. There's rumors going around the whole school thinking its racism," said Leo Fernandez.
The team's coach, Dawn McNew also received a temporary suspension. A school official tells me that's due to negligence, because the students were left by themselves. But players, parents, and Lee County School District officials tell me McNew is a successful coach with an impeccable reputation inside and outside these walls.
"I never had the opportunity to play for her. I always wished that I had because not only is she a phenomenal coach but a mentor and someone you could always go to for support," said Leroy Adams.
As for what the team will do on the court, students are optimistic about their chances regardless of who hits the hardwood. We will become the District Champions and there is no way we will lose that game," said Fernandez.