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UMW to investigate possible hazing incident page 2
UMW investigating possible hazing incident

Date published: 9/29/2006


The school's 2004-05 team was the most successful ever, winning their first-ever Capital Athletic Conference tournament title. Their season ended March 5, 2005, in a loss to Randolph-Macon College in the NCAA tournament.

William Schut, a spokesman for NCAAhazing.com, said the site's mission is to push for tougher anti-hazing rules in college sports.

He obtained the UMW pictures from another Web site and said some show students marching through a dining hall "in crazy outfits."

NCAA officials don't want to deal with hazing, he said, because the tradition is so ingrained in the culture. He noted a 1999 study that concluded 80 percent of college athletes have been hazed.

"If they suspended everybody involved, you'd have no one left to play," he said.

The Web site may help administrators better understand the nature of hazing, Chirico said.

"At least they'd have a better sense," of what hazing rituals may look like, he said.

The university's coaches discuss hazing every year, but the pictures may lead them to "reinforce the messages they've sent before," Chirico said.

Seven of the members of the 2004-05 women's basketball team were still on the team last year. Five of them are listed as students in the current UMW student directory.

Whatever the outcome of the investigation, Chirico said the pictures don't reflect UMW's campus life.

"I really think that our students are better than what's being shown on these photos now," Chirico said.

To reach JEFF BRANSCOME:540/374-5402
Email: jbranscome@freelancestar.com

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UMW's Hazing Policy

Hazing is strictly prohibited at the University of Mary Washington. Specifically, the university defines hazing as any physical or mental interference, request, or obligation that could cause inconvenience, discomfort, pain, fright, embarrassment, disgrace, or injury; that is personally degrading; or that violates any federal, state, or local statute or university policy. Whether or not the student so endangered or injured voluntarily participates in the activity is not a factor in determining if the activity was hazing.

Source: UMW student handbook