WNYT.com

Skidmore College benches men's soccer after reports of drinking and hazing

Posted at: 02/21/2013 10:12 PM
Updated at: 02/22/2013 5:50 PM
By: Mark Mulholland

SARATOGA SPRINGS - The Skidmore College men's spring soccer season is canceled and 28 students, including 24 team members, face disciplinary proceedings.

Rochelle Calhoun, Skidmore's Dean of Student Affairs, says the team is being held out as an example.

The school says most of the team was involved in a drinking party at a house  The school says it believes some of the 24-student athletes were pressured into drinking by their teammates at the November 30 party at a home on Jefferson Street.

So, Skidmore is sending a message by cancelling the entire spring soccer season.

"It was important for students to understand that behavior has consequences," said Calhoun. "And the college wants to demonstrate that we take these behaviors, these situations, very seriously."

Skidmore says they learned of the party in mid-December, during final exams and decided to begin their investigation when students returned for the start of the spring semester.

Campus safety handed the results of its investigation over to the police department.  Saratoga County District Attorney Jim Murphy says based on what he knows now, it doesn't appear that there will be charges, but says Skidmore did the right thing by cancelling the season.

"And I think they could be criticized if they didn't," said Murphy. "So taking the action they took and turning it over to the police department is absolutely appropriate."

Skidmore student-athletes are required to sign a code of conduct, pledging to not participate in illegal activities such as underage drinking and hazing.

"And when that is violated, students understand that they are subject to being held responsible," said Calhoun.