Calif. Softball Coach Apologizes for Making Players Drink From Shoe

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. -- A California high school girl's softball coach has apologized for requiring eight players who struck out during a recent game to drink soda pop out of a team member's shoe, a school district official said.

The South Tahoe High School varsity players drank the soda at a team slumber party on May 1, hours after a game against Wooster High School of Reno, Nev.

"It was meant as a joke, and obviously it went too far," Lake Tahoe Unified School District superintendent James Tarwater said.

A parent complained about the incident and coach Anneliese Neitling has since apologized, Tarwater said. It was a young coach's mistake and the matter will be addressed during Neitling's postseason evaluation, he said.

"People learn from mistakes," Tarwater said. "She does a good job pulling the team together, morale-wise and support-wise."

Neitling, who just completed her second season in charge of the school's softball program, did not return phone calls for comment.

South Tahoe Athletic Director Don Borges declined to comment on the incident. But he said his coaches are required to attend a preseason orientation meeting in which hazing is addressed.

Hazing is an act that subjects someone to possible physical harm, personal degradation or disgrace in order to be accepted into a group.

South Tahoe High School is located in California, about 6 miles from the state's border with Nevada, and is a member of the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association.

The school adheres to the Nevada hazing law, which states that hazing is a misdemeanor offense if there isn't substantial bodily harm and a gross misdemeanor if significant bodily harm occurs.