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EKU rugby team speaks out: 'We don't haze'

RICHMOND, Ky. (WKYT) - Members of a university rugby team punished are speaking out after being investigated for hazing.

As we told you Thursday night at 11, EKU put the men's rugby team on two year's probation after university leaders say they used a two by four to paddle other members.

But a team officer says they didn't force anyone to be paddled.

He says everyone has the choice whether they want a whack from a two by four named Betsy.

"I don't think it should be called hazing if someone chooses to do something on their own free will," said Tyler Farrell, rugby team officer.

That's why Tyler Farrell, one of the officers of the rugby team at EKU, says they are fighting what they've been accused of. But the allegations are not being taken lightly by the university.

"No university wants to know that these kind of things have happened on their campus. At the same time, I'm pleased to know that someone would step forward and say this is wrong," said Dr. Mike Reagle, the associate vice president of student affairs.

Even with the two year suspension from playing, Farrell says the team is in this together and that it's not over despite the allegations which he calls quote 'ridiculous.'

"We feel like we still, and this is why we are appealing, haven't really got the chance to explain ourselves and describe the situation," said Farrell.

Farrell says he's speaking for everyone in saying the signed plank of wood is not a part of their team.

"There is a two by four named Betsy that a rugby player has, but it's not a rugby tradition or definitely not a rugby initiation or even something that is a part of our team," said Farrell.

Farrell says they are appealing on two accounts: one that their punishment is too severe and two that the committee does not have all the facts pertaining to the case.

"We don't haze. We don't do anything forceful or pressure anybody into doing anything," said Farrell.

In appealing, members of the rugby team say they hope the allegations are dropped or their suspension is shortened.


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