Following a comprehensive investigation by the school’s administration and athletic department, Skidmore has handed down final disciplinary actions regarding an incident that occurred at an off-campus residence Sept. 18 involving members of the Thoroughbred men’s hockey program.
Two players, one junior and one senior, will be suspended for the first semester. An additional senior will be suspended for one month.
Five other players who appealed their suspensions based on a lack of involvement in the situation have been given the opportunity to complete a research paper on the effects of hazing at the institutional, student athlete, student body and athletic department levels as a way to shorten the duration of their suspensions. Upon successful completion of the papers, the student athletes would be reinstated.
Additionally, all players must prepare a written apology to be published in the Skidmore News and complete twenty hours of community service prior to the end of the first semester in December.
Skidmore did not release the names of the players involved.
The incident described by school officials as a “hazing situation” involved several upperclassmen and freshmen watching football on a Sunday afternoon while drinking beers at an off-campus residence. While there were no reported rituals or forced consumption of alcohol, the serving of alcohol to under age players in a group setting fits the description of a hazing situation by Skidmore policy. On that basis, the school undertook immediate action under the direction of Athletic Director Jeffrey Segrave.
Head Coach Paul Dion expressed disappointment that the event had occurred but feels the school and the athletic department have done an excellent job in handling the situation.
“Jeff conducted extensive interviews with all players and took time to think the situation through,” said Dion. “As an educator, he wanted the punishment to have an end benefit at the school. He thought about several different options before settling on the final outcome this week. The papers being prepared by five of the student athletes may be published on campus as a tool to further educate the Skidmore student body on the identification impact of hazing situations at a number of different levels.”
Dion further noted his appreciation of the efforts by his athletic director and the school in resolving this before official practices begin today. “This has been a big cloud hanging over our heads for the past month. Now we can use this course of action to educate our student athletes and figure out how to move forward with tryouts and initial practices starting next week,” said Dion late last week. “We will have a team meeting on Saturday, Oct. 30, to address this from the team perspective and look forward to hitting the ice on Monday.”
Skidmore opens its season Nov. 19 hosting Williams.