Four student-athletes at Riverhead High School were disciplined this week for imitating popular NFL quarterback Tim Tebow's trademark kneel down.
Administrators said they punished the students for "Tebowing" because they created an unsafe environment by blocking the halls, resulting in one-day suspensions for two of them.
The students were part of a larger group seen in a YouTube video kneeling in the halls of the school, a move one of the students told Yahoo! was "out of respect for Tebow, and because 'Tebowing' is the new thing to do."
Tebow — a second-year quarterback who has led the Denver Broncos to six straight wins — is known for his devout Christianity and intensity on and off the field. The act has gained popularity as the Broncos have continued to pile up late-game wins.
The students — brothers Tyler and Connor Carroll, and their friends Jordan Fulcoly and Wayne Drexel — had reportedly started the practice on Monday, according to a report in the News-Review.
Yahoo! Sports broke the story early Thursday, later making it to local media. The story also was featured ESPN's Sportscenter, which reported that two of the students' suspensions were lifted after administrators found that they were not previosuly warned.
"It’s wonderful that our students look up to sports heroes such as Mr. Tebow, but we can’t allow students to create unsafe situations in school," Superintendent Nancy Carney said in an email. "Students cannot block hallways and prevent other students from getting to class. A couple of students who were spoken to previously did not heed to the warning given by administrators, and they were disciplined accordingly.
Correction: An earlier version of this story reported that four students were suspended.