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College Hockey:
Alcohol, ‘sexual entitlement’ two factors Boston University wants to moderate after task force findings

A “celebrity culture” exists among Boston University men’s hockey players, one that can lead to “unacceptable and destructive behavior,” according to the report of a school task force released Wednesday.

The task force was put together last spring by BU president Robert Brown after two men’s hockey players were charged with sexual assault last season. Its task was to identify if changes were needed on campus in relation to student-athletes’ conduct.

It identified 14 recommendations, including the elimination of the executive athletic director position held by men’s hockey coach Jack Parker. Parker agreed to step down from the executive athletic director position and stay on as coach.

The complete report can be found on Brown’s website, with highlights below.

“The Task Force concluded that the unique culture of men’s ice hockey, played at the highest collegiate level, and the preeminent status of our team on campus contribute to a celebrity culture and an isolation of these athletes from the majority of our student body. I believe this situation is exacerbated in men’s college hockey where professional teams frequently draft players before they enter college, an observation contained in the Task Force’s report. This insular and elevated status can lead to unacceptable and destructive behavior, including a culture of sexual entitlement and abuse.

The 14 recommendations the Task Force has made are based, I believe, on careful consideration of information collected in the course of the group’s deliberations and are designed to improve oversight of the hockey program and foster the success of these student-athletes and their integration into the university community. Other recommendations deal with more systemic issues of sexual assault/harassment and alcohol abuse on campus. We are moving to implement the majority of the Task Force’s recommendations as rapidly as possible.

For example, the new Sexual Assault Response and Prevention Center (SARP) opened on August 27 at 930 Commonwealth Avenue. The center’s staff will work with victims of sexual assault and sexual harassment from across campus. In addition, the SARP staff will offer sexual assault awareness and prevention education. We are also implementing sexual assault and violence prevention educational programs for the members of the men’s hockey team.

The report and the investigation of possible breaches in NCAA rules both highlighted the lack of clear reporting lines for the men’s ice hockey program. To regularize reporting relationships, Jack Parker, men’s ice hockey coach, has stepped down as executive director of athletics and will focus all his efforts on coaching. We also have reorganized reporting relationships in the athletics department to provide clear lines of responsibility and accountability among the coaching staff, the athletic director, senior administrative leadership, and me. These changes also will ensure that potential violations of the code of student responsibilities by student-athletes will be handled through the university’s judicial process under the auspices of the dean of students.

Also as recommended by the Task Force, the athletics department has been charged with updating its student-athlete code of conduct so that it clearly articulates our expectations for student-athlete behavior and the sanctions that will be imposed for violations. This code and team rules must be consistent with the university’s code of student responsibilities.

It is clear that excessive alcohol consumption has played a role in the majority of the instances of alleged sexual assault or other inappropriate behavior that have been identified through the work of the Task Force. We are reviewing the recommendation about how best to implement a comprehensive, campus-wide program aimed at moderating alcohol use by our students.

The role of intercollegiate athletics is to provide opportunities for individuals who are fully committed to their college education to participate in competitive sports. Our community revels in the success of our teams and our individual athletes. Men’s ice hockey has a storied history and has defined the pinnacle of athletic success at Boston University. We owe it to our student-athletes, including the members of our men’s ice hockey team, to help them be successful students at Boston University while performing at the high level required for NCAA Division I sports. The athletics department has been asked to develop a plan that will help better integrate members of our hockey team into the student community, paying special attention to student housing accommodations and student life.

Issues such as excessive use of alcohol and a sense of sexual entitlement in a subset of students, which were studied and discussed by the Task Force, have plagued college campuses for decades and are strongly coupled to norms that are deeply embedded in our society and extend beyond the boundaries of any one campus. We must work diligently toward providing our students the best possible environment for living and learning in the context of the pressures from society and each other.

“I appreciate all the time and effort put forth by the members of the task force to complete their thorough review of our men’s ice hockey program,” BU assistant vice president and athletic director Mike Lynch said in a statement. “The university has our full support as our staff incorporates the findings. We look forward to putting into action their recommendations, many of which we have already begun. Throughout this process, we have ensured that the university administration and our athletic department continue to share the same goals in regards to our men’s ice hockey program and its future as part of BU’s campus life.

“This has been a challenging year, but we are ready to move forward as an even stronger athletic program.”

The task force reported that it found no evidence of major NCAA violations, and also no evidence that the issues are unique to Boston University.

“I would like to commend the members of the task force for all the hard work they put in this spring and summer,” Parker said in a statement. “I think their summary of findings is accurate. More importantly, I feel their recommendations for action will help our team, other student-athletes and the student body in general to ensure a better all-around experience. I fully agree with the NCAA and task force’s recommendation to split up my two jobs. When asked to choose one or the other, it was easy for me to choose my position as our head hockey coach. My staff and I endorse the findings and it is our job to implement and monitor the recommendations that are specific to the hockey team.”

The task force was co-chaired by university provost and chief academic officer Jean Morrison and Dr. Jonathan Cole, chair of the academic affairs committee of the board of trustees and provost emeritus of Columbia University.


The following is a self-policing forum for discussing views on this story. Comments that are derogatory, make personal attacks, are abusive, or contain profanity or racism will be removed at our discretion. USCHO.com is not responsible for comments posted by users. Please report any inappropriate or offensive comments by clicking the “Flag” link next to that comment in order to alert the moderator.

Please also keep “woofing,” taunting, and otherwise unsportsmanlike behavior to a minimum. Your posts will more than likely be deleted, and worse yet, you reflect badly on yourself, your favorite team and your conference.

  • Guest

    Of course sexual assault is not acceptable. But, this is not just BU. This is for many DI and DIII programs across the country….even more so for programs were hockey is the ‘top dog’ sport. Let’s face it, music majors aren’t going to have the status or problems as they sit in their dorm on a Saturday night.

    • Powers

      You obviously don’t know many music majors if you think they just sit around a dorm every weekend.

  • BCEagle

    I see Jack Parker went to the Joe Paterno school of public relations. How is he able to keep his job given such a disturbing pattern of behavior? When, in America, do leaders actually get held accountable for leading? Parker should resign or be fired in shame. This is great: Parker is a legend when they have the big games and when BU wins. If they have a problem, he simply can dodge the bullet. Got to make sure he gets his massive salary and keeps his reputation intact. Disgusting. Jack Parker, you are the second biggest tool in college sports following Sandusky

    • The Sieve

      Spoken like a true imbecile. These type of events happen on a weekly basis on every college campus. Do you propose they fire every college coach out there?

    • TheSieve

      Sorry USCHO was that too much “woofing” for you. My point still stands, however, this is a poor comparison to Paterno. This type of stuff happens on almost every college campus across America. Do you propose all coaches be fired?

  • AntiEagle

    So from my understanding these incidents weren’t statistically significant:
    “Finally, our assessment of team members’ recent disciplinary history did not reveal a pattern of infractions that was significantly different, in type or number, from the undergraduate population as a whole”

  • Guest

    The reality is that BU isn’t all that good anymore; much better places to play hockey.

  • Sievesatool

    Sieve asks should they fire every coach? Well, if this goes on at every university then they should shut down the programs but keep the coaches. I guess it’s better to have sports and let the female students put up with the terror than to have honor, respect and all of those good things we like to see in heroes.

    • TheSieve

      The terror? Are you delusional. I can assure you the vast majority of coeds at universities aren’t forced into anything they don’t want to do. Some times there are regrets afterwards. It’s called a moral hang over. Point in case the 2nd BU incident the so called “victim” returned the next morning to get her jacket. She wasn’t too scared to show back up to the scene of the “crime”. I wouldn’t consider the trend you speak of being sexual assault. If you counted the amount of sexual encounters that go off without a hitch the number of indecent counters are far and few between.

      • Get to a therapist

        Think this guy needs to get help? Nice logic that most encounters go off without a hitch. Oh, okay, nice to know the bad behavior, compared to all hookups is statistically acceptable. And nice way to take the side of the criminals. It’s the victims fault. Wow. Dude, you not only have some anger issues, but you need to find a new cause. Some of us think it’s actually okay to expect people to behave well. It’s not just the law. It’s having morality and ethics. Parker should be fired. Even more so after seeing your rant.

        • TheSieve

          How are they victims when they accuse someone of sexual assault when it reality it never actually happened?

      • reallyloser

        I am guessing you didn’t read the Globe article pertaining to the whole scandal. If you had you would not be writing stupid comments.

  • Bulldog

    Duh, did you read the report? Pattern of behavior? Lack of accountability by Parker? Yes, fire the guy. As punishment, make BU be coached by Bobby V for five years

  • YuppieScum

    “Oh, you think so, doctor?”

  • SUEH8TER

    SOUNDS A LOT LIKE THE RUBES AT NODAK!!

    • Johny 5

      Sounds alot like the eight year old we all love to hate is back on mommy’s computer again!

      • SUEH8TER

        HAHAHAHAHA, YOU ARE A FUNNY GAL. BUT YOU CERTAINLY CAN NOT ARGUE WITH MY STATEMENT. NODAK HAS HAD MORE CRIMINALS PLAY FOR THEM THAN THE STATE PEN. TEAM!!!

        • Fan Man

          Not like the prison sentence Im going to get for talking to an eight year old on the internet! Seriously, grow a pair or stop making a monkey out of yourself Some people like talking hockey, you just talk trash. thats fine an all but make yourself known and your team or shut the F^^^^ ^P

          • SUEH8TER

            MY ANME IS JOHNNY WISHBONE AND I CHEER FOR THE CHARLESTON CHIEFS

          • B.D.

            Homeboy – Explain?

    • B.D.

      I see homeboy found his computer keyboard again….
      Homeboy, did you enjoy all the free taters this weekend?

  • HE Fan

    Totally embarrassing, Parker should be fired IMMEDIATELY … and Yes, ‘sexual entitlement’ probably does happen in other places, campus’ and even workplace’s; but for the Head Coach, to say he “hadn’t heard about” and incident, BUT reprimanded the team for their behavior following said incident 3-4 days later? Jack has been losing his marbles (in my opinion) for the last 5 years; maybe more, maybe less; but if there’s a National Championship party going on in the lockerroom, with kegs of beer; naked players skating on the ice and sex occurring in the penalty box (9/7′s Boston Globe) … how could this happen under Jack’s watch? Wonder what would have happened had one of these “victims” been Jack’s daughter, neice or even granddaughter??
    These things just don’t happen in real life w/o the head coach knowing about it; especially a head coach like Mr. Parker.
    Do the right thing BU, and fire Jack Parker, or demand his resignation immediately.

  • jungathaht

    I’m amazed by some of the overly defensive
    reactions being posted. If BU had a mediocre
    program rather than one that is a perennial
    championship contender, there would likely
    be no making excuses for such reprehensible
    behavior by the players and the “look the other
    way” attitude by Parker.

  • NeutralZoneTrap

    Booze? Hookers? Nudity? Sounds like college hockey to me.

  • Ed Of Ct.

    Fire the coach for What ! He cannot follow them to parties and have them stay away from akcohol and wild parties. Suspend the players and or kick them out of college and take away their scholatships.

    • HE Fan

      Follow them to parties??? Did you read The Boston Globe Story; this happened at AGGANIS ARENA. Unless BU is different from every other College Hockey team in the nation, II would think that Coach Parker has an office at this arena? And any “security guard” worth his salt, would place a phone call to a head coach saying “you might want to come down here, something NOT GOOD is happening in YOUR arena with YOUR boys” … there is no way, you can tell me that the BU players went into an unlocked/unsecured site such as Agganis Arena; and did all these things, detailed in The Glboe article; with NO SECURITY in the building … wake-up and smell the coffee.
      Let me ask you; when was the last time someone attended a party at an arena, with the conduct mentioned (underage drinking, naked skating and sexual intercourse) … that someone “in the know” didn’t know about. If you don’t think Coach Parker was informed of this matter immediatelyl; you’re a bigger fool than the BU Athletic Department who have failed to act on this matter … sweep it under the rug. How did that work out at Penn State????

  • Ed of Ct.

    Fire Parker FOR WHAT!!! Do you seriously think any college coach in any sport is going to follow his players around to see if they go to wild parties and drink alcohol etc.. Drop the players from the team end, their scholarships and expel them from the University. Then the remaining players who are left will get the message.

  • Drugthug

    This is just another attack in the war on men. They will create a witch hunting all female board, more than likely lesbians, who will do their best to punish every male on campus. What about the women involved? No need to over see their actions?

  • Bartneally

    just another example of Parker’s aloofness

  • Drugthug

    Who were the women involved? Were they on the staff? Well I mean did they work for the team or just work the team.

  • Drugthug

    Were these female participants allowed to be on the ice and in the box due to tile lX?

  • bufan

    its nice of the statement to mention that it turned out the girl who pressed charges against nicastro turned out to be lying. but why say some important fact like that when it gets in the way of your report

  • AP

    The NCAA needs to santion BU mens hockey program on this issue for the fact that this conduct took place in a university monitored facility, supervised or unsupevised. This is no different from Penn State in that the administation had to have known. Also how is this different from the santions brought against Maine’s program for improper recruitment.
    Irrespective of the caliber of the school and its hockey program the NCAA must act.
    Embarrist HE Fan