The Quinnipiac Bobcats have relieved head coach Eric Fekete of his duties, a university spokesperson has confirmed to College Crosse. The news was first reported by Lee Roggenburg of Florida Lacrosse News.
Assistant coach Mason Poli has been named interim head coach for the remainder of the academic year. That has been updated on Quinnipiac’s website.
The university has also extended the team’s suspension until the end of the calendar year and has also disciplined individual student-athletes. No fall ball will be played. Roggenburg also tweeted all seniors will miss the first five games of the regular season.
“After a comprehensive investigation into violations of the student conduct policy involving hazing and alcohol, the university has extended the suspension of the men’s lacrosse team through Dec. 31, 2018,” said Lynn Bushnell, vice president for public affairs in a statement to College Crosse. “In addition, disciplinary action has been handed down to individual student athletes on the team. The head men’s lacrosse coach is no longer with the university. Effective immediately, Mason Poli, the assistant men’s lacrosse coach, has been appointed interim head coach. Because of university policy and federal law protecting the privacy of student records, we cannot provide any additional details on this matter. The university will continue to take action toward those responsible for behavior that poses a threat to the well-being of our students.”
The Bobcat players were all suspended in late September after violating the school’s student conduct policy. The coaching staff was not part of the suspension.
According to two sources, the suspensions stemmed from freshmen hazing via drinking alcohol. A parent called the university after the incident, which resulted in the suspensions. One source said the freshmen were locked inside a basement and had to finish their drink before they were able to come out.
From one source on the situation: "That’s very Quinnipiac...that place is more or less a high school."— Chris Jastrzembski (@CFJastrzembski) September 28, 2018
Poli takes over after serving four years as Quinnipiac’s defensive coordinator. He was also responsible for scouting, skill development, recruiting, and academics. Prior to his arrival to Hamden, the Bryant Bulldogs product was a volunteer coach with the Richmond Spiders in 2014.
Fekete finished his 17th season as head coach in 2018 and won MAAC Coach of the Year honors. It was his second MAAC Coach of the Year award after also taking the honor in 2016, when the Bobcats won the conference tournament. His overall record at Quinnipiac was 98-133
Quinnipiac finished last season 9-6 and wrapped up a MAAC regular season title with an undefeated mark in conference play. As the top seed in the conference tournament, they lost in overtime to Canisius in the MAAC semifinals. The Golden Griffins eventually won the conference championship. The Bobcats return all three starting attackmen, including MAAC Rookie of the Year Jake Tomsik.