Eleven football players in Millard have been suspended ahead of Friday night's game, a Millard Public Schools spokesperson confirmed.
The players are seniors at Millard South, social media reports and a staff source say. The suspensions are believed to revolve around t-shirts involving rival school, and week one opponent, Millard West, with the letters "FMW." "F" is commonly used on social media to replace a 4-letter expletive beginning with the same letter.
The suspended players weren't able to attend practice.
According to tweets from Millard South students, some in the student section are planning on sitting on a hill instead of in the bleachers to show support for the suspended players.
"Several football players broke the student code of conduct at a school pep rally and lost their opportunity to play in the August 25th football game," a district spokesperson said. "In respect to both the law and our students’ right to privacy, we do not comment on specifics of any student discipline."
A senior football player who was temporarily suspended from Millard South says he and his teammates have learned a lesson and regret the prank.
Josh Renken, a tight end for Millard South High School, says he respects the administration's decision to suspend himself and 10 of his teammates.
Renken says the suspensions stemmed from a dance at a school pep rally earlier this week, where the senior players donned t-shirts with the letters "FMW." The "F" was meant as an expletive starting with the same letter and "MW" stood for Millard West.
Millard South played Millard West Friday night for its home opener.
"We obviously regret it lots and lots. We thought it would be funny and get the students ready for the game and stuff but it turns out just the opposite. It kinda brought everyone down," Renken said. "Definitely lesson learned. We've been preparing for this game for — I can't even tell you how long — [since] last season. It really hurts. Definitely a lesson learned."
Renken says half of the suspensions were handed down immediately after the pep rally. Others were suspended the following day.