Let's get right to it -- Cornell's lacrosse team is suspended due to hazing involving alcohol consumption:
“This incident involves coerced alcohol consumption by underage freshmen,” said John Carberry, director of press relations for the university.
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“Hazing practices are harmful and antithetical to our values as a university and our commitment to student-athletes,” [Cornell Director of Athletics Andy] Noel said. “They have no place in Cornell athletics.”
As President David Skorton has taken serious steps to eliminate hazing from the Greek system, the University is taking these incidents increasingly seriously.
“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,” said Susan Murphy, Vice President for Student and Academic Services.
Though the most recent hazing incidents have involved members of the Greek system, Noel said that it can become a problem any time there is an abuse of power within the hierarchy of a group, even on a sports team.
“I am particularly concerned with coercive traditions that abuse the power differential between new students and underclassmen,” Noel said. “Team bonding is important, and there are many ways to achieve it that don’t involve hazing.”
The strength of those statements from Cornell's brass are telling: The university isn't screwing around with this situation. Cornell is treating hazing as a priority concern on campus, and the Big Red's lacrosse team is in a position where the university -- at least at this juncture -- is poised to make an example of the program as a means of deterrence effect. In fact, Cornell's press relations office is intimating that further details of the hazing allegations may be made public:
Carberry added that more details will be released on the university's hazing site — hazing.cornell.edu — in the coming days.