7 NJ wrestlers out of meet after lynching photo

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TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- Seven members of a New Jersey high school wrestling team have been scratched from a state tournament days after a photo surfaced of team members apparently simulating a lynching.

Phillipsburg High School officials would not say why the wrestlers were pulled from competition, telling The Express-Times of Easton it's a "private student matter."

The picture showed seven boys in Phillipsburg wrestling attire surrounding a black wrestling dummy wearing a rival Paulsboro High School T-shirt and hanging from a noose.

Pictures of the wrestlers who were scratched seem to match the faces in the photo.

A spokesman for the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association says the organization is awaiting a report from Phillipsburg school officials on how they're handling the situation. The state Division on Civil Rights also is looking at the case.