Cornell cancels lacrosse team's fall season for hazing violation
Ithaca, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The fall season for the Cornell men's lacrosse team has been canceled by the university for a team hazing incident. On Sept. 13, the team was placed on temporary suspension while Cornell decided what the appropriate sanctions would be, according to a statement released by the university Thursday. As of now, the team has been allowed to resume training and practice activities, but it will not compete in its two fall tournaments it was scheduled to play. Cornell is coming off a Final Four appearance last season, where the team lost to eventual NCAA Champion Duke in the semifinals. No further details on the hazing incident were made public by Cornell Thursday, but Andy Noel, the Meakem Smith Director of Athletics and Physical Education, released this statement: “Hazing practices are harmful and antithetical to our values as a university and our commitment to student-athletes. They have no place in Cornell University athletics. I am particularly concerned with coercive traditions that abuse the power differential between new students and upperclassman. Team bonding is important, and there are many ways to achieve it that don’t involve hazing. The health and safety of students is our foremost priority. We provide anti-hazing education to all of our student-athletes. We will work with this team intensely in the next days, weeks and months to educate them on the problematic actions and to help them identify appropriate, healthy, activities in which they can bond. We need our upperclassmen to model the high level of behavior we demand from our student-athletes at Cornell.” Susan Murphy, the school's vice president for Student and Academic Services, also added her thoughts in a statement issued by Cornell's public information officer, John Carberry. “Under President David Skorton, Cornell University has been a strong voice against hazing and the dangerous rituals that some think are merely rites of passage. We are working as a community to heighten awareness, increase education, support positive team-building programs, and apply sanctions to address the dangerous situations involving hazing activities and/or use of alcohol. Work on this campus has focused on the empowerment of students in particular to refuse to promote or participate in demeaning or dangerous acts, and to intervene when they are aware of it occurring to others. Hazing must stop now." According to Cornell, no further sanctions are expected to be taken against the team.