TopOfTheCircle.com

Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

March 3, 2015 — An unwelcome reminder

It was only a decade ago when a series of pictures on the Internet resulted in the Catholic University women’s lacrosse team being placed on probation and team members having to be re-educated on the dangers of hazing.

In these days when entire websites like Bad Jocks, TMZ, and The Smoking Gun have made their mission exposing the such misdeeds, it’s been much more difficult for teams to get away with hazing. But I find it interesting that there has been an unusual concentration of hazing scandals in NCAA Division III women’s lacrosse.

For instance, Franklin & Marshall saw its 2012 season suspended due to hazing, just a game short of playing its conference tournament. The Diplomats were a hot favorite that season for perhaps making the Final Four.

The latest Division III women’s team under scrutiny is Roanoke, which has been playing lacrosse on the varsity level since 1978. The women’s team stands accused of hazing in the form of serving alcohol to underage players.

The university’s response has been unusually swift. According to Roanoke College’s Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Aaron Fetrow, the university has decided to forfeit a third of the Maroons’ season.

We’re not privy to exactly which third of the season is to be forfeited, but I’d presume it includes today’s season opener which was scheduled to be played in Puerto Rico as well as a showdown with No. 1 Salisbury this Sunday.

There are other penalties, including hazing education for team members, the suspension of the team captains for one game each, and community service in the form of a Habitat for Humanity house.

“If you engage in these initiations or rituals, there’s going to be a penalty,” Fetrow tells WDBJ in Roanoke. “I think some people think we were strict in the penalty, but we needed to send a message.”

Consider the message sent. It’s a lesson the NFL could learn.

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