Former Connecticut women’s player Godin sues coach MacKenzie, alleging hazing, bullying

According to a published report in the Hartford Courant, former Connecticut women’s player Shannon Godin has sued coach Chris MacKenzie, accusing him of “allowing hazing, talking about his European-style underwear and being a bully.”

MacKenzie is entering his third season with the Huskies and declined comment to the Courant through a university spokesman. Godin is reportedly seeking at least $15,000 in damages from him for alleged negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The Courant is reporting that Godin suffered “severe emotional distress, which was compounded by defendant MacKenzie allowing senior members on the team to bully and haze Shannon and force her to a ‘Rookie Night’ where she was forced to drink alcohol and wear sexually inappropriate and degrading clothing,” lawyer James Sullivan wrote in a lawsuit filed in Superior Court.

The complaint also says MacKenzie “spoke to his female players about his European-style underwear and in doing so, sickened and disgusted Shannon.”

In an emailed statement to the paper, UConn made no mention of the lawsuit or the allegations against MacKenzie. The school did say it concluded through an internal investigation that the women’s hockey team engaged in limited hazing on “Rookie Night,” but in her complaint, Godin said she was hospitalized last November for binge drinking after seniors on the team forced her to drink alcohol.

“Defendant MacKenzie admitted he was aware of this culture of drinking,” the complaint states. “He in fact made the senior who led most of the hazing captain of the hockey team.”

Godin skated in 17 games for UConn last season, but her scholarship was revoked after the season, Sullivan wrote in the lawsuit. She also did not bring the hazing allegations or the complaints about MacKenzie to the school’s attention until after her scholarship was taken away. The scholarship was reported to be partially reinstated through the appeals process, but Godin chose not to return to UConn this year due to being “traumatized and cries at the prospect of returning to UConn or the mention of MacKenzie.”


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