HSU Cancels Men’s Soccer Season Over Hazing; Women’s Team Investigation Begins

Hank Sims / Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012 @ 12:43 p.m. / HSU

UPDATE, 12:55 p.m.: Thirteen minutes after I received the email from President Richmond, I received an email from HSU spokesperson Paul Mann, which read, in part: “The announcement of the suspension to the campus community (below) is EMBARGOED to the media until 1:30 p.m. today, when senior university officials will meet with the press in the Corbett Conference Room (room 222) Siemens Hall to disclose the results of a detailed investigation.”

The LoCO wishes it to be known that it would not have jumped the embargo if it had known the embargo existed. More details to follow, obviously.

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HSU President Rollin Richmond himself today announced the immediate suspension of the season for the men’s soccer team, which last week was investigated on charges of hazing of incoming students.

Richmond gives a bit more detail today. The hazing incident allegedly occurred at a party, involved “excessive alcohol consumption” and “placed the lives of two students at risk.” He says that after learning what happened at the party, he is “immensely relieved that all of the students are safe.”

In addition, Richmond announces that a hazing investigation of the women’s soccer team is now underway.

The president’s full statement follows:

Dear Campus Community,

Over the last two weeks, HSU has been investigating troubling allegations of hazing and excessive alcohol consumption at a recent party held by many members of our men’s soccer team.

We have concluded that a hazing incident did indeed occur. Furthermore, this incident placed the lives of two students in real jeopardy.

Because of this, I have decided to suspend the team’s 2012-13 season effective immediately. The team will not participate in any California Collegiate Athletic Association games or any University-sanctioned games for the entire academic year.

We have also begun an investigation of alleged hazing by members of the women’s soccer team. That investigation is in its early stages.

Given my understanding of what occurred with the men’s team, I am immensely relieved that all of the students involved are safe. I hope that the team discipline, along with individual disciplinary actions, send a clear message that this was unacceptable. Hazing is not tolerated at Humboldt State, not in Athletics and not in any other area.

It is vital that our student-athletes, and our entire campus community, understand the seriousness of the situation. Hazing is illegal, and it is prohibited by the student and student-athlete codes of conduct. It has no place at our University.

Going forward, we will be implementing a series of additional steps to ensure that students learn about the risks involved with hazing. I will insist that every unit on campus participate in this effort as appropriate, and that they do so cooperatively and seriously.

The full details of my decision can be downloaded here. Two good resources about hazing are the NCAA handbook on preventing hazing and StopHazing.org, an organization dedicated to ending hazing.

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