ISU Men’s Hockey Club suspended after investigations

Presented by the Campanile at Iowa State University in Ames. Picture from the Ames Tribune by Nirmalendu Majumdar

University investigations revealed that the Iowa State University men’s hockey team had engaged in years of alcohol abuse, hazing, and forcing money out of club members in exchange for status during “Rookie Parties,” “Kangaroo Court,” and “Rookie Run” activities.

These revelations prompted the extension of the club’s suspension to include all competition for the upcoming academic year on Thursday. After charges of hazing and other issues were brought to the attention of university officials in April, the Cyclone Hockey Club’s whole program was halted in May.

However, in a statement delivered through an attorney on Thursday, members of the team and club community refuted the university’s conclusions. The institution, according to the statement, mischaracterized the incidents, and Iowa State was accused of utilizing the accusations to reorganize club management.

“Cyclone Men’s Hockey has been let down by Iowa State University’s administration. It also let down the program’s parents, alumni, and student athletes “The declaration said.

What the university’s research revealed

According to a university news release, an investigation by the Office of Student Conduct found that the club organized activities “intentionally targeted new or rookie members” since at least 2018, including “underage drinking, alcohol abuse, personal humiliation, as well as financial penalties that were linked to admission, continued membership, or elevated status within the men’s hockey club.”

Those who subscribe: According to a report on the Iowa State hockey team, there was “sufficiently significant conduct” that violated the hazing code.

According to a summary of the investigation, club members were found to have financially penalized new members for matters involving personal humiliation, targeted new members for personally humiliating acts at events, and directly or implicitly required new or rookie teammates to drink and abuse alcohol at parties, even if they were underage.

According to the summary, “the incidents produced circumstances compromising the targeted students’ mental or physical health or safety… and constituted conduct in violation of applicable legislation and other university policies.”

According to the summary of a separate investigation by university auditors and human resources staff into the club’s supervision by Recreation Services and coaching staff, that investigation revealed those staffers did not understand or exercise oversight in “matters including student complaints (e.g., hazing or potential hazing incidents), financial structure and controls, and supervision of hockey staff.”

Angie Hunt, a university spokesman, said representatives would not comment on matters relating to personnel or student conduct. It’s uncertain if any specific students, employees, or faculty members have had or will experience academic or professional consequences.

Hunt claimed that rather than a particular number of events, the inquiry by the student conduct office found “a pattern of behavior and actions,” and “there were changes to the coaching staff over the period under examination.”

The Iowa State Athletics Department is not affiliated with Cyclone Hockey, which is a club sport.

On Thursday, the hockey team’s head coach and assistant coach, who were both listed with the student group Hockey Team Boosters that supports the team and its connected cheerleading and pep band clubs, were no longer featured in the university’s directory.

Requests for comment from the booster club’s treasurer, hockey cheerleading officers, and a few recent team members were not promptly fulfilled.

Club athletes call claims of hazing and other misconduct “dubious”

A statement from the club’s athletes, parents, and alumni was released on Thursday afternoon by Timothy Lillwitz, a Des Moines lawyer with the Bradshaw Fowler Proctor & Fairgrave firm, accusing Iowa State of being dishonest and uncooperative.

“It seems the administration chose to use a questionable hazing claim to further its objectives. Without a doubt, Iowa State University’s actions have damaged the Cyclone Men’s Hockey program’s reputation, but more significantly, the reputations of its student players, coaches, and alumni “The declaration said.

The club disputed any policy violations in the statement, including any alcohol consumption restrictions, acts of degrading behavior, or any deliberate targeting of freshmen or new members.

Furthermore, it claimed that the “Rookie Run” had been misrepresented in the university’s investigations.

“The program’s annual participation in that event, known as the “Mud Run,” has been going on for decades. Even the Cyclone Men’s Hockey gameday program mentions the Mud Run “It read.

“Cyclone Men’s Hockey will consider all options in responding to the University’s sanctions,” the letter concludes.

the conditions for the competition to resume

If the club does not comply with the conditions set forth by the university, or if it once again transgresses university policy, the club’s one-year ban may be prolonged.

By Dec. 16, the group might restart practices and intersquad scrimmages provided club members take part in anti-hazing and alcohol and drug misuse training and “restructures as a typical, student-led sports club.”

It would still be prohibited to travel to tournaments or league games and participate in them during the spring semester. If rules are followed and there are no more policy infractions, full team activities could start up again in the summer of 2023.

Restructuring also means receiving the same funding and administration as other on-campus clubs, such as the Women’s Hockey Club.

According to the university’s investigative summary, with student leaders in charge of the organization, “required adjustments to the size and the activity level of the group will likely need to occur.”

“The Club will also have to submit to biennial program evaluations. In addition to creating the organization’s constitution and other necessary structures, the Club will also need to construct the training and safety procedures necessary for other high-risk sports clubs “the added summary

Students are needed to provide comments on Iowa State’s sport club safety plan in reaction to the accident at the crew club.

In light of the hockey club’s suspension, Hunt said it would be up to the student leaders of the cheerleading and pep band organizations to decide how to carry out their duties, with advice from their advisors.

Investigators last year found that improper oversight of Iowa State’s crew club was a problem that had persisted for years and contributed to a deadly training accident in March 2021 that claimed the lives of two students and necessitated the rescue of an additional three. As a result, Iowa State is in the process of restructuring oversight of its student sport clubs.

In an earlier statement, the university claimed that the probe into the men’s hockey team had nothing to do with its examination of sports clubs following the crew accident.

Prior to the fatal tragedy, the crew club at Iowa State was plagued by uncertainty on who was responsible for safety precautions.

For the Ames Tribune, Phillip Sitter writes on education, particularly Iowa State University and PreK–12 institutions in Ames and other parts of Story County. Psitter@gannett.com is the email address to contact Phillip. He tweets as @pslifeisabeauty.

Ames Tribune was the site where this article first appeared. ISU men’s hockey team is banned from competing following an investigation; the team disputes the results.