Ithaca (WSYR-TV) – Cornell University has announced that the entire men’s lacrosse team has been suspended due to a hazing incident.
John Carberry with Cornell Media Relations says the suspension was announced to the team on Sept. 13. The alleged incident happened prior to that date and involved “coerced consumption of alcohol involving underage freshman.”
Carberry says the team is allowed to practice, but not allowed to participate in exhibition games.
The suspensions were handed down through the university, not the NCAA.
Andy Noel, the Meakem Smith Director of Athletics and Physical Education, issued the following statement on Thursday:
“On Sept. 13, the Cornell men’s lacrosse team was placed on temporary suspension pending appropriate sanctions for a team hazing incident. Following investigation into the incident, Coach DeLuca and his team were notified that all fall competitions are canceled. Effective today, the team will resume training and practice in accordance with sanction guidelines.”
Noel also released the following statement:
“Hazing practices are harmful and antithetical to our values as a university and our commitment to student-athletes. They have no place in Cornell University athletics. I am particularly concerned with coercive traditions that abuse the power differential between new students and upperclassman. Team bonding is important, and there are many ways to achieve it that don’t involve hazing. The health and safety of students is our foremost priority. We provide anti-hazing education to all of our student-athletes. We will work with this team intensely in the next days, weeks and months to educate them on the problematic actions and to help them identify appropriate, healthy, activities in which they can bond. We need our upperclassmen to model the high level of behavior we demand from our student-athletes at Cornell.”
According to Susan Murphy, the vice president for Student and Academic Services, Cornell University President David Skorton has led a movement to curb hazing on campus.
“Under President David Skorton, Cornell University has been a strong voice against hazing and the dangerous rituals that some think are merely rites of passage. We are working as a community to heighten awareness, increase education, support positive team-building programs, and apply sanctions to address the dangerous situations involving hazing activities and/or use of alcohol. Work on this campus has focused on the empowerment of students in particular to refuse to promote or participate in demeaning or dangerous acts, and to intervene when they are aware of it occurring to others. Hazing must stop now," Murphy said in a statement released on Thursday.
The statement issued by Cornell University can be found here