Laurier baseball team to continue season
Published Monday, September 24, 2012 4:06PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, September 24, 2012 7:13PM EDT
Wilfrid Laurier University will allow its varsity baseball team to finish the season after an apology from players and a promise to work to raise awareness about hazing.
Team co-captain Ian Filion says “We’re all sorry for what we did. We’re all accountable for it and moving forward as a team we’re better off for it.”
The team was suspended after an investigation into humiliating and degrading acts that allegedly took place at an off-campus team party involving alcohol a little over a week ago.
The university has a zero-tolerance policy on hazing and all members of the team had signed the university-wide Hazing Policy in August.
Team co-captain Brett Van Pelt says “Obviously our image has been hurt a little bit and we’re looking forward to repairing that image in the proper way.”
Before a presentation by players on Sunday night, which was requested by university officials, there was still a possibility the team could face a season-long suspension.
But in a statement released on Monday, Peter Baxter, director of Athletics and Recreation at the university, said “I am convinced that the members of our baseball team now appreciate why any form of hazing is unacceptable. I believe they have learned from their mistakes and will carry these learnings forward into the rest of their season and beyond.”
During the presentation the players apologized, said they understood the negative impact of hazing and promised to speak publicly about it.
Filion says “Our image extends far beyond the baseball field and not fulfilling our obligations to be good student athletes and advocates for the school can have consequences.”
They also proposed other options for team building, such as mentoring new players, team camping trips, movie nights, etc.
Head coach Scott Ballantyne has been working to build the program for over a decade and says he was disappointed.
“Definitely a step backward for us, but last night reassured me that we do have a great group of guys and I think we’re ready to move forward and be stronger as a result.”
The team forfeited two games over the weekend, and will play the first of nine remaining games on Tuesday against Brock University.