September 26, 2012

Hazing Will Cost Vanderbilt to Miss Fall Event

by Corey McLaughlin | | Twitter

Members of the Vanderbilt women's lacrosse team were found to have recently engaged in an event that rose "to the level of hazing," according to the Vanderbilt athletics department.
© Zac Hardy

updated 09.26.2012 at 4.03 p.m.

The Vanderbilt women's lacrosse team has withdrawn from an Oct. 13 fall ball tournament at Navy and the team and players are subject to additional penalties after a Vanderbilt athletics department internal review determined that its varsity women's lacrosse and tennis teams "recently engaged in separate events that rise to the level of hazing."

The school announced the decision in a press release, which said no one was harmed in either event. An athletic department official confirmed to Lacrosse Magazine on Wednesday that the lacrosse team would not play at its orginally scheduled event at Navy as part of the penalties.

The sanctions will not affect any part of Vanderbilt's spring 2013 season.

Late last week, Candice Lee, Vanderbilt's senior woman administrator, director of compliance and the former chair of the Division I women's lacrosse selection committee, interviewed every member of each team.

According to athletic director David Williams, "All but one admitted to taking part in the events. We informed the coaches of the two teams, who knew nothing about the events and were disappointed."

The athletic department placed sanctions on both teams, which include missing one scheduled contest. The school said, in addition, coaches of both teams, including women's lacrosse coach Cathy Swezey, may impose additional team and individual penalties. Williams has also informed university officials of the incidents, including those involved in student conduct.

Vanderbilt is scheduled to host a fall play day on Saturday, playing Louisville and Cincinnati, in Nashville. The Commodores are still set to travel to Philadelphia for Penn Play Day on Oct. 20.

"Hazing is dangerous and against university and athletic department policy. It will not be tolerated," Williams said. "This is something we take very seriously. The athletic department will increase our educational activities to make sure our student-athletes understand how important this issue is and how dangerous it can be."

Vanderbilt finished 7-7 and 1-4 in the American Lacrosse Conference in 2012.

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