uOttawa hockey players to sue over suspension

January 15, 2015

22 members of the University of Ottawa’s men’s hockey team will launch a class action lawsuit against the institution over their suspension in the wake of sexual assault allegations made against some players. The court filing, which names the university as well as uOttawa President Allan Rock, indicates that the players are seeking $6 M in damages; the suit claims that the players who were not charged “have had their reputations tarnished and their future careers damaged” by the suspension. The court filing also says that the lead plaintiff, Andrew Creppin, faced “tension between [him] and his family” and “was harassed when wearing his team jacket.” It notes that after  2 players were charged, “the rest of the team suffered and continue to suffer the stigma of the scandal … Some players were so filled with anxiety they could not longer attend class and their marks suffered. Others were harassed … Some team members lost their summer jobs.” uOttawa says that it will review any documents pertaining to a legal action once they have been served. Ottawa Citizen | National Post | Toronto Star Globe and Mail

Postscript: January 19, 2015

The University of Ottawa has announced that it will extend the suspension of its men’s varsity hockey team through the 2015–16 season. In a news release, uOttawa said that it plans to take the time to “implement measures that will be key to re-launching the men’s hockey program.” President Allan Rock said, “we feel it is essential to wait for the Task Force on Respect and Equality to submit its report, which is expected shortly. We are also looking to hire a new men’s hockey coach. Given these circumstances, we feel that this is the best decision.” The uOttawa release also notes it is well behind its competitors in terms of recruiting and selecting players. uOttawa’s announcement comes not long after a $6 M class-action lawsuit against the institution was filed by 22 members of the team over their suspension. uOttawa News Release | National Post | Toronto Star