September 19, 2009
Women′s team suspended over party; Carleton University

Carleton University suspended its women′s soccer team yesterday after a rookie initiation party last weekend ended with a player being taken to the hospital by ambulance following excessive drinking.

The team will not participate in weekend games against the University of Toronto and Ryerson University, and Carleton′s athletic department is to meet with individual players on Monday to decide if the suspension should be extended.

Jennifer Brenning, Carleton′s Director of Recreation and Athletics, refused to discuss specifics, but said the entire team seriously breached the code of conduct set out by the athletic department and the university.

"It was a get-together of the entire team, to hold a rookie initiation," said Ms. Brenning. "The team met without the coach [Andy McNutt] Sunday and it involved the entire team. The coach found out about [the incident] on Wednesday and contacted [the athletic department]. We started an investigation and found a breach of the code of conduct. We met with the entire team [Friday and outlined the severity of their actions.

"In this situation, they all participated. They′ve all been suspended. In the past, we have suspended individual players for abuse of alcohol or other issues, but this is the entire team."

The athletic department′s code of conduct says, "Varsity athletes are expected to separate themselves from any conduct that might be considered unsporting or that might bring their own reputation, the reputation of the team, the University or their sport, into disrepute.

"Examples of unsporting behaviour include participation in any form of hazing, or any initiation rite, which would be considered demeaning, humiliating or disrespectful as measured by the standard of the reasonable person. (Participation will be deemed to include passive participation, or failure to act to end such behaviour by others where one reasonably knew, or ought to have known, it was taking place)."

"We will meet with individual players on Monday to make a decision on what the next step is for the program, in terms of whether there are further suspensions, and in terms of whether there′s any more discipline," said Ms. Brenning. "We hope the team learns something and hopefully there′s a lesson out there for other teams."


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