Wilfrid Laurier University suspends varsity baseball team for hazing
Published Thursday, September 20, 2012 11:27AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, September 21, 2012 10:54AM EDT
Wilfrid Laurier University announced today they would suspend the varsity baseball team after reports of hazing at the university. The team will forfeit four games and may be suspended for the rest of the season.
The decision was made after an investigation was launched into hazing activity at an off campus house party. Details of the how the school’s hazing policy was violated was not released.
The university says the baseball team completed an orientation session and signed off on the school’s hazing policy in August.
WLU Athletic Director Peter Baxter says the zero tolerance policy is very explicit. "... these young men were educated on it, they signed off on it and the decided to defy it. "
In a statement released by head coach Scott Ballantyne late this afternoon, he says, " I am disappointed in the players but has confidence in his team to do the right thing and move forward as a group to make amends for what has taken place."
The university has asked the team to make a presentation to the athletic director on Sunday night about the seriousness of hazing. Based on the outcome of that presentation the school may consider reinstating the team or shutting it down for the remainder of the season.
"As an educator I have to have faith in young people that thy'll do the right thing." says Baxter.
Ontario University Athletics (OUA) baseball convener Chris Critelli from Brock University says the league has not yet formed any additional panels to consider whether subsequent discipline is required. "Usually the league doesn't have to intervene because the penalities are usually appropriate." says Critelli.
“While a full-season suspension is justifiable based on an investigation of the incident, we believe it is important to offer these student athletes the opportunity to engage in a more meaningful learning opportunity that, in addition to tangible consequences, encourages reflection and accountability.” says McMurray.
The baseball team will forfeit the four games it was scheduled to play September 22 and 23 against the Western University Mustangs and the University of Waterloo Warriors.
The Golden Hawks baseball team is 4-4 this season with 12 games remaining.