WLU accused of abusing power in handling of baseball team's hazing incident

October 15, 2012

Wilfrid Laurier University is being accused of using bullying tactics in its handling of a hazing incident at a baseball team party. The Waterloo Region Record reports the team's coaches and all but 2 of the team's 34 players have signed a request for an inquiry into the team's 4-game suspension. Helping to prepare the request, the mother of one of the players argues that administration botched the incident from the start by not following its own procedures, by pressuring players into making public apologies, and by "grandstanding" for the national media. The mother, who is also a lawyer, claims WLU misrepresented the party -- where drinking games involving minors took place -- to the media by not providing full details and calling the baseball team's activities "degrading and humiliating" and thereby insinuating the hazing was sexual in nature. WLU's athletics director says that while the team's unauthorized party was not a criminal matter, it was a suspendable offence. He says team captains were never pressured into making public apologies, and that all of the players freely admitted to the hazing activities in a meeting with administration. A WLU spokesman says the institution is in the process of verifying that the inquiry request has come from the team itself before proceeding. "It's a bit of a surprise," he says. "We thought the team had moved beyond this." Waterloo Region Record