JOSEPH DIBACCO ’19
The Trinity men’s hockey team has been placed on probation until the end of the 2017-2018 school year in light of an investigation into misconduct toward female students by some members of the team. According to the announcement by Student Affairs, the inquiry revealed behavior by multiple players on the team that is not in accordance with the Student Athlete Social Responsibility Policy.
Regardless of who the perpetrators were, the entire team is bearing the brunt of the punishment. From now until the end of the 2017-2018 school year, the hockey team is forbidden from hosting or sponsoring any social event anywhere, whether formal or informal. That said, the team will still be able to compete in the 2017-2018 season, but that will also be called into question if there are any more transgressions that violate the College’s rules on proper conduct.
Furthermore, every player on the team has to complete a mandatory yearlong program on sexual misconduct and alcohol abuse.
This decision was handed down by Student Affairs and the Athletics Department, who worked in tandem to take action in response to the findings of the inquiry.
According to Dean DiChristina, a few allegations of mistreatment of female students by members of the hockey team were brought to him at the end of the fall semester. It was decided that an official fact-finding inquiry would be launched in response to the allegations. What DiChristina stressed is that the hockey team has not been put on probation for an isolated incident or for the actions of just one player. From December to the conclusion of the investigation, there has been sufficient evidence of mistreatment of female students by multiple members of the team. DiChristina mentioned that this is a team culture problem and that it is the first time since he arrived in 2015 that an athletic team has received sanctions under the Student-Athlete Social Responsibility policy, rather than an individual.
DiChristina specified that the allegations did not all come from one geographic location such as the hockey house. Not getting into specifics, he mentioned that the incidents reported were not necessarily related, but enough members of the team were involved to levy a punishment on the team as a whole. There was also no evidence shown to the Athletics Department to prove that there was any harassment of female students from members of the hockey team via social media or any other cyber platforms.
When asked, Dean DiChristina explained that the decision to place the hockey team on probation until the end of the 2017-2018 school year was ultimately made by the Athletics Department and himself working in tandem, and that they reached that decision by referring to the Student-Athlete Social Responsibility Policy. This policy is focused on how Trinity’s student-athletes should comport themselves on and off the field/ice. It primarily addresses alcohol and drug abuse, listing several rules about where and when it is appropriate for a student-athlete to drink. The policy makes it clear that abuse of non-therapeutic drugs by student-athlete of any age or underage drinking are not conducive to the maximization of athletic or academic performance, and that those who decide to use substances should do so responsibly in a controlled environment.
While a section on sexual misconduct is noticeably absent from the Student-Athlete Social Responsibility Policy, there is a general regulation listed that prohibits all “lewd, indecent, abusive, or obscene behavior” on campus or at any athletic contests.
Matt Greason, the head coach of the men’s hockey team, denied a request for comment.
JOSEPH DIBACCO ’19