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Sep 20, 2013 04:23 AM EDT

Cornell Suspends Men’s Lacrosse Team for Entire Fall Season Following Hazing Allegations

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The entire Big Red men's lacrosse team of Cornell University has been suspended for the fall season following an alleged hazing incident Sept. 13.

John Carberry, a spokesman of the Cornell press relations office, said that the team is being penalized for alleged 'coerced consumption of alcohol by underage freshmen.'

"On Sept. 13, the Cornell men's lacrosse team was placed on temporary suspension pending appropriate sanctions for a team hazing incident. Following investigation into the incident, Coach (Ben) DeLuca and his team were notified that all fall competitions are canceled. Effective today, the team will resume training and practice in accordance with sanction guidelines," the university's director of athletics, Andy Noel said.

Carberry said that the team will be allowed to practice, but will not be permitted to participate in exhibition games.

"Under President David Skorton, Cornell University has been a strong voice against hazing and the dangerous rituals that some think are merely rites of passage," said Susan Murphy, the vice president for Student and Academic Services.

The lacrosse team was scheduled to meet the Iroquois National Team in an exhibition Sept. 28 in Cortland, N.Y., and play in the second annual Capital Lacrosse Invitational Oct. 13 in Bethesda, Md.

Noel promised the school would, 'work with this team intensely in the next days, weeks and months to educate them on the problematic actions and to help them identify appropriate, healthy, activities in which they can bond. We need our upperclassmen to model the high level of behavior we demand from our student-athletes at Cornell.'

Experts claimed that severe disciplinary actions like these are not only shameful for the university but also for the players. Cornell seems to take hazing allegations seriously as it is very unusual for an entire team to get a suspension in intercollegiate sports.

 "Hazing practices are harmful and antithetical to our values as a university and our commitment to student-athletes," Noel, said. "They have no place in Cornell University athletics. I am particularly concerned with coercive traditions that abuse the power differential between new students and upperclassmen. Team bonding is important, and there are many ways to achieve it that don't involve hazing."

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