The University of Vermont has canceled the remainder of its men’s hockey season Friday after learning that players lied during an investigation into a hazing scandal.
“We have received indications that a number of players were not completely truthful during our investigation of hazing allegations,” university president Judith Ramaley said at a hastily-called news conference Friday night in Burlington.
“As we said during our investigation, any indication that players did not provide accurate, truthful, complete information would result in serious consequences,” she said. “This new information has triggered those consequences.”
Vermont had played 17 games this season, posting a record of 5-9-3. There were 15 games left on the regular-season schedule, including a matchup against Dartmouth on Saturday night.
School officials apparently learned of the new information Thursday. An emergency telephone conference among members of the Board of Trustees’ executive committee reached the decision to terminate the season Friday afternoon.
University officials issued a report about the hazing Jan. 4. In it, they acknowledged that hazing had occurred, but did not disclose details of the actions that did occur.
“I don’t know if there’s any one person who’s guilty of anything outside of the young men not saying quickly enough what they did and didn’t do, and I think that would have taken care of a lot of this,” said head coach Mike Gilligan.
Gilligan said the players’ scholarships and academic standing will remain intact.
“This is the last kind of thing you ever want to have happen with your student-athletes,” athletic director Rick Farnham said.
Former Vermont goalie Corey Latulippe filed a lawsuit in December charging he was required by teammates to participate in hazing.
Until Latulippe filed suit, the university had been reluctant to discuss the hazing allegations, citing a federal law protecting student privacy. The Jan. 4 report contained e-mails showing university officials were not forthcoming with information even when the campus police chief inquired about the rumors.
It is unclear what will happen with the games Vermont has already played this season. It is also unclear as to how the remaining games will be dealt with in terms of league standings and points.