Men’s club hockey suspension reduced to three years, two years probation; team plans to continue appeal

The men’s club hockey team’s five-year suspension was reduced to three years Wednesday following an appeal to the Office of Student Life.

In addition to the suspension, the team will also serve two years of probation, ending in fall 2017, and all members of the 2015-16 team will be required to participate in anti-hazing and alcohol awareness education programming.

“This is in the range of what’s been done historically in past hazing incidents,” said Shaun Holtgreive, interim director of Student Life. “The university takes a harsh stand when it comes to hazing … unfortunately, it’s a slippery slope that gets out of hand in a hurry, especially when alcohol is involved.”

Senior team president Matt Cinader met with members of the appeal board Wednesday and proposed the team’s self-imposed educational and remedial sanctions.

The proposal included a suspension of 10 games through Oct. 31, three years of probation, the resignation of Cinader and vice president Ricky Jones, and regularly scheduled meetings between the Office of Student Life and club hockey leadership for the remainder of the probationary period.

The team also proposed training and presentations on anti-hazing and alcohol awareness for its members and annual education orientation of new hockey club members.

“I thought the hearing itself went well,” Cinader said. “The administrators listened well and paid attention. I presented our self-imposed remedial sanctions; they didn’t say too much about them. We appreciate the university reevaluating us and reducing the sanctions, but we still feel the new three-year sanction is incorrect and (we) do plan on appealing the three-year sanction.”

The original five-year suspension was handed out by the Office of Student life Sept. 28 after the team was found in violation of section 3.2.13 (alcohol policy), section 3.2.19 (hazing) and section 3.2.25 (violations by a registered student organization of the Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities and Disciplinary Procedures).

CMU began investigating the team following a Sept. 14 party at the Deerfield Road home of several team players. Photos of the event were collected from players’ Facebook pages and presented at the original hearing.

Although the whole team wasn’t in attendance at the party, and multiple players allegedly left before the hazing took place, Holtgreive said this is still a common penalty in hazing cases.

“Generally, when an organization has an issue, the sanctions are against the whole organization, regardless if everyone was involved, and it’s seldom that 100 percent of the group is there,” he said.

Sophomore Nolan LeClaire is a first-year player who attended the party and said he wasn’t pushed to drink, he previously told Central Michigan Life.

“The rookies (in attendance) were called upstairs and (the veterans) gave us thongs and the rookies laughed and threw them on,” he said. “As far as drinking goes, I wasn’t forced to drink and nobody encouraged or pressured me to drink.”

Jones, also team captain, said the club hockey team doesn’t plan on giving up its case yet.

“The self-imposed educational sanctions we submitted were in line with previous cases and precedent, and we plan to take the next step in the appeal process,” he said.

Club hockey has a final chance at appealing its sentence, this time to Steven Johnson, vice president for enrollment and student services.

“They can appeal one more time, and just like what happened in this one, sanctions could be made harsher,” Holtgreive said. “If they appeal this, it could be changed in severity, either direction.”


  1. Chippewa '98 says:

    This is ludicrous. Perhaps what was done may have been wrong under CMU rules, but as far as I can tell, at least based on published reports, there has been no criminal wrongdoing or even allegations of it. These were all consenting adults. The school has no legal authority to tell these students what they can and cannot do outside the campus of Central Michigan University. They can freely associate with each other, and I’d encourage them to continue playing hockey, even if they have to call themselves Central Michigan Club Hockey and not Central Michigan University Club Hockey. It’s about time that students stand up to the authoritarian dictators in the school administration.

    • “The school has no legal authority to tell these students what they can
      and cannot do outside the campus of Central Michigan University.”

      The school has all the authority it needs in term of whether those students are allowed to affiliate their hockey team with the school. Moreover, under certain circumstances, it can dismiss a student entirely for conduct off campus.

      Your ignorance does not define the bounds of law.

    • Look no further than the FAMU band hazing and you can see that schools not only can punish you for actions related to a school organization, but can be held liable if they don’t act.

      • cmualumfromwayback says:

        They haven’t acted in many cases. Other incidents have been overlooked as “just a joke” and these examples were presented by the team as precedent Why is a dance-off on the part of willing participants, while admittedly crude and tacky, considered a liability or hazing? Who was harmed? The rookies have only been harmed by the decision of CMU authorities, not their teammates.

  2. Create men & women’s varsity hockey. It’s about time we have hockey here. This is Michigan and the other schools have done it so should we.

  3. This type of appeal would never be considered if this was a fraternity allegation. Everyone knows the hockey team partakes in these type of actions voluntary or not. If a pledge was seen doing something in bad taste or regarding alcohol that organization would be gone no questions asked. Even if the individual wanted to do it. I cant believe the amount of butt hurt and outcry over this suspension when nobody questioned the 4 fraternities that recieved equal punishments in the last 5 years.

    • I’m of the opinion that what two or more consenting adults do, provided it isn’t unlawful under federal or state law, in the privacy of a residence, off the property of CMU, does not concern the administration — be it a group of students, a club, or a fraternity. I frankly would sue the school and claim they have no jurisdiction to enforce these rules off-campus.

      • “I frankly would sue the school and claim they have no jurisdiction to enforce these rules off-campus.”

        Good luck finding a lawyer as ignorant as you.

      • Hazing IS illegal under law. They are also breaking the conduct policy put forth by student organizations. Therefor, the student organization (ie the Club Hockey Team), can be suspended. Do I think it’s excessive? Sure, but they have every legal right to do so.

  4. This is an absolute joke. If this stands I will make sure that CMU does not get any donations from any alumni including me. I will promise to CMU to make sure I will steer people away from my previous institution. People and power trips. CMU has no right to tell them what to do. Hazing involves forceful actions. I cant promise anybody interested in this that nothing was forced. These men are full of class and respect. SHAME ON CMU for stealing away something that they trained there whole life for. They have no idea the damage they have done to these men. PATHETIC

  5. The school does have the “legal” right to suspend them. That being said, it still isn’t a “fair trial”. When making such a big decision that effects so many people (CMU Hockey, The ice arena, and future CMU players) you would think the office of student life would give them a chance to correct this. The fact that it happened off campus should also be considered. It’s a tradition for any hockey team from high school and up to have a harmless “initiation” if you will. Hockey teams are a tight knit group, more so than any other sport. This whole thing is over the top.

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