Rugby team suspended after hazing allegations

By: Tim Johnston Email
By: Tim Johnston Email

RICHMOND, Ky. (WKYT) - Eastern Kentucky University says they received the allegations of the hazing incident Tuesday morning. Immediately, the University's three-person committee took a look at the report. Based on their decision a letter was issued to the club rugby team saying they're on suspension until everything can be decided.

"They are not allowed to do anything. They cannot meet, they cannot practice, they can't be involved in games, they can't have any parties, they can't do anything under that team name and we do that for the safety of the individual's on the team," explained Dr. Mike Reagle, Associate Vice President of Student Affairs at EKU.

Hazing. It's a serious allegation and one that EKU says they will not take lightly. In this case, they were not able to elaborate on the alleged incident, but did say no students were severely injured or need treatment at a hospital.

"Any allegation that we get of hazing that we get is serious. We take each one that we get very seriously."

The club's former President, called WKYT and said he's aware of the suspension but added he is not aware of any incident that may have led to the report being filed.

The EKU Hazing committee consists of one faculty member, one staff member, and one student. Dr. Reagle explains that they examine each report and offer up their views from each campus group. In their assessment, they may decide on the severity of the case, and upon that discovery they may choose to simply investigate the claims, or in this case, propose a suspension.

Dr. Reagle said this option was not only swift, it was the strongest recommendation the committee may offer on an initial assessment.

Now, the 20-member team is not allowed to finish their season or enter the playoffs.

"On this particular case, there was some credibility to it, which is why the hazing committee elected to go ahead with the interim suspension," stated Dr. Reagle.

"I'm shocked that hazing actually is still going on this much," reacted Tyler Whetsel, a freshman at EKU.

"Wow! No, I haven't heard anything about that," said sophomore Abby Caudill.

"I don't know. I wouldn't expect that at Eastern. I mean I guess it's a good thing that they got disciplined for it do it doesn't happen again," figured sophomore Thomas Matthews.

EKU says there's no real time table on the investigation. They say it could take a few days to a few weeks, and at this time no students have been questioned.

The University did say no criminal charges have been filed at this time.

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