The Rollins Men’s Lacrosse Team was placed on temporary suspension on Sept. 2, which has since been lifted. As of Sept. 24, the team is on Community Probation continuing into Spring 2016. When the initial suspension was put into place, local news outlets WFTV Orlando, the Orlando Sentinel and several college sports websites ran stories declaring the team’s suspension with sparse information. Current and past team players declined to comment for this story.
President Cornwell confirmed that the incident inciting the suspension was hazing involving alcohol and a proper investigation had promptly been conducted.
He said, “The investigation is complete and that suspension has been lifted. Now, the team is being held accountable for instances of hazing. There was underage drinking. New students were asked to do things associated with that drinking. The sanctions have been leveled. A program has been put into place holding them accountable. They do have the right to appeal. Our investigation is concluded.”
President Cornwell stands by the punishment of the team.
He continued, “The lacrosse team’s five Fall 2015 competitions have been cancelled. In place of those competitions, the team is going to work through a series of programs about alcohol use and community standards. They won’t be able to practice and test their plans with the players like they would have otherwise. It’s more important they are clear—and we’re clear—that we have standards of behaviors for our athletes that they have violated.”
The spokesperson for the lacrosse team refused to divulge any specifics regarding the hazing allegations.
However, there was a school-wide email sent out by Meghan Harte Weyant, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, confirming the hazing to the student body and illustrating the repercussions of the team.
The email stated, “The Men’s Lacrosse team, while no longer suspended, is on community probation until the end of the spring 2016 semester. . . Moving forward, any member of the team found in violation of College policy will be subject to disciplinary action through Community Standards & Responsibility, up to and including dismissal from the College and/or dismissal from the team. The team will participate in the mandatory myPlaybook online education program offered through Athletics. . . The team will participate in small group sessions, coordinated by the Wellness Center, to address issues of character development and responsibility. In addition to the sanctions issued to the team, some team members have been found responsible for individual alcohol violations and have gone through the Community Standards and Responsibility process.”
The future of the Men’s Lacrosse Team remains to be seen. The integrity of the players and the reputation of the school are dependent on each other, and a possible team appeal still hangs in the balance.
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