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Washington addresses hazing incident

Aside from graduating seven starters, the Shoremen faced a different kind of adversity before the season even began.

Several players were involved in a hazing incident reportedly occurring on Jan. 13. No details regarding the identities of the players or the specifics of the incident have been divulged, but athletic director Bryan Matthews confirmed the incident when he released a written statement to faculty and staff members on Jan. 20, saying in part, "Following an incident that occurred off campus last week, we are conducting an investigation of alleged misconduct by a group of Washington College students. In this, as in all matters, the safety and well being of our students is our paramount concern."

Coach J.B. Clarke declined to discuss details, but he said he has used the incident as a teaching tool with his players.

"The NCAA reports that 80 percent of college student-athletes are hazed. For any coach at any level in any athletic department to assume that it’s not happening to their kids is playing with failure," he said. "We’re educators, and we are educating our young men. Even more than we have in the past, we’re finding new ways to educate them. Simply showing them videos and having speakers come in and whatnot that we do here at Washington College and certainly within my program isn’t always enough. We have to find new ways to educate these guys. My team is closer than it’s probably ever been having gone through this incident. The good news is, what everyone’s reading is not what happened. It’s not a we’re-going-to-lose-our-season thing. We’re going to be disciplined, and we’re going to come out of this stronger than we were a month ago. We already are."

Clarke said as punishment, the team's first scrimmage was canceled and the players involved have been suspended for varied periods of time. Inside Lacrosse reported that the entire team would participate in educational programs and community service.

The Shoremen went 9-7 last season and missed the NCAA Tournament for the third time in the last five years. Clarke said the cancellation and suspensions haven't impacted the team's preseason preparations.

"The weather’s affected us a lot more," he said. "The good news is, we have young guys, and they were going to have to be out there anyway. More guys are getting reps than maybe they would have in the first week of practice if none of this had happened." 

Posted by Edward Lee at 11:00 AM | | Comments (6)
Categories: Washington


As a 1954 graduate of WC, and the manager of the 1954 LAX team, hazing was a way of life! Freshmen were required to wear beanies and were subjected to ridicule from upper classmen. The idea was teach incoming frosh who were high school hot-shots that they were starting over...don't tell us what you did but rather show us what you can do! Done safely, this helps the tyros mature and 'come on board'. Pretty much like military boot camp!
Looking back on the great years at WC, I would no doubt be put on 'double-secret probation' for some of the stunts I participated in!
As long as there was no serious injury other than pride, the lacrosse team will be more close knit than ever!

Its astonishing to here that 80 percent of student-athletes are hazed for bad performances. I'm looking to find a school without hazing going on. I'm currently a soccer player, I've searched on websites like to find good sports programs that I'd like to attend. I'll have to do more research to find where hazing is worst.

Long live Lambda Pi Delta!!!

Don't get too politically correct W.C. That was part of your charm back in the day that you were a laid back college.

The true person that should be hazed is Matthews for keeping Clarke all these years. Lacrosse used to mean something at the WAC. Bring in Beville, Sowell or Nostrant and put some fire into the program!!!

Class of 90

The hazing is no big deal, it's more about the fall of a dominant lacrosse program. Get a clue WC, Matthews and Clarke have run the program into the ground. The word is out in the recruiting world and there is no changing that.

Upperclassmen haze freshmen because the upperclassmen will lose playing time to more talented freshmen. The upperclassmen rode the bench in previous years and hope to gain some playing time before the more talented freshmen take over playing time.
Even though the upperclassmen aren't good enough to start, they should realize they contribute to the team, even though they don't start. Upperclassmen should forget about hazing and instead think about contributing to the team.

Could not agree with you less "laxrat." Hazing done properly only unites a team. If you work hard and have to go through something with others to be a part of that group, you end up having more respect for being a part of it. The only proplem is you always have some individuals who what to top what their predecessors did before. That is usually how things go too far and usually alcohol is at the center of it. Not all hazing is bad and there are many fun stories and a sense of camaraderie that comes from it. It has nothing to do with playing time. You sound like a true freshman. Once you get older and grow a pair you'll understand life a little better.

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About Faceoff
Faceoff is The Baltimore Sun's blog devoted to college and high school lacrosse. Faceoff contributors include Sun reporters Edward Lee, Mike Preston and Katherine Dunn.

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