Men’s club hockey awaiting appeal decision; Tom Idema said issue wasn’t just one night

Men’s club hockey team president Matt Cinader submitted a written appeal Wednesday and awaits a decision by Steven Johnson, the vice president for enrollment and student services.

Johnson was free to set up his own procedures or decline the appeal. There is no date set for his decision.

The Central Michigan club team had its five-year penalty reduced to three years in an appeal to the Office of Student Life Oct. 17.

In the appeal, Cinader said he researched 21 cases of other CMU organizations, including clubs sports, varsity sports and fraternities, which were not as severe as the five-year suspension that was originally given.

“We went through each case in the hearing to just explain what their crime was, and what their punishment was and nothing was even close to five years,” Cinader said.

The club was suspended for violating the alcohol and hazing policy covered in the Registered Student Organization Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities and Disciplinary Procedures.

Tom Idema, assistant director of Student Life, said hazing alone has normally brought a four-year suspension to organizations connected to Central Michigan University since 2007 when hazing became a hot topic.

“Hazing has been a very, very big deal on college campuses,” Idema said. “University administrators and colleges have been sued because they haven’t been tough enough on hazing or done enough.”

He said the men’s club hockey case is about the sixth involving hazing for an organization associated with Central Michigan since 2007.

Facebook was one of the ways evidence was gathered, though Idema said it was not how the violations were discovered.

“It’s not like we go out looking for this,” he said. “I don’t spend my day on Facebook looking for policy violations and things like that.

“But when we’re sent photos, or we’re given a tip or anything like (that), we will certainly look at it and see what’s going on.”

He said it has been misconstrued that the party was the “whole thing.”

“This is not because of a party,” he said. “It’s because of the hazing, the alcohol and much more than one night of that occurrence.”

He would not elaborate on it being more than just one night because the appeal process is still underway.

The team has an off-campus party before the start of every season and Cinader, a three-year member of the team, said he has not seen any hazing.

“We’ve never forced a player to do anything,” Cinader said. “Every player has communicated to the (Office of) Student Life that they weren’t forced to do anything they did not want to do.”

Idema said, “When you talk about hazing in organizations, usually, there’s a culture of these things going on for years and years. It’s typically not one incident.”

The first-year players who were present put on thongs during the party and both sides disagree if it was forced or voluntary.

Cinader called the thongs a gag-gift and said he was not around when they were handed out, though he was at the party.

“It wasn’t a big event,” he said. “It was just kind of something funny.”


  1. Who is this Idema clown? This idiot needs to get a life. The young men of the hockey team are volunteering their time to help other youngsters at AHAMP learn the game. So they have a party and have some fun, but tell me at CMU who doesn’t have parties where minors are drunk and have alcohol. In fact most are already well buzzed before they leave for a party. The “OMG we have to be more than politically correct” crowd is sending this country further down the wrong road. Some snitch sends FB pics to this IDEMA idiot and now we have the witch hunt followed by the Spanish Inquisition.
    Hope he knows he’s killing off any chance of hockey for this school for way more than whatever number of years they want to ban the club.

    • SomePeoplesKids says:

      First, I doubt you know anything about the Spanish Inquisition. Second, didn’t Penn State teach us that it is NEVER okay for a school to put athletics (especially a non-varsity club sport, ha) over human dignity and individual safety? These clowns represent an otherwise reasonably reputable institution of higher education and I’d be surprised if they got any more favors for their pitiful behavior.

      • You play hockey your whole life. Revolve everything you know around the sport. Sacrifice everything for the love of the game and your team because you respect the what the game has given you. You will do anything for the game because it has built character and a strong base for your future. Then have it ripped away from you because you have some fun with your buddies from somebody that doesnt understand any of it whats so ever. I would understand if it was anything else…dont even bring up Penn State not EVEN CLOSE to the same situation. A hockey team is a family and will do anything for each other. This situation blows my mind. This Idema character is a joke plain and simple. He has NO IDEA how this will effect this boys future. Your not teaching them a lesson. The only thing this “man” is teaching them is that there are people in this world that try to make a name for themselves and move up in the promotional ladder no matter what the cost and what lives are ruined. Obviously the guy above and this Idema character making the complete wrong decisions in this matter have never played the sport. Mentally SOFT.

      • CMU Hockey Fan says:

        This “reasonably reputable institution of higher education” is not behaving in a reasonable manner at all. Investigating violations committed by members of division 1 sports and those of fraternity would demonstrate that these students are being judged by VERY different standards. While they are members of different organizations they are ALL CMU students and should be treated equally. It’s time for a little common sense to be displayed. Wearing thongs and drinking are not activities that warrant a suspension and certainly should not be compared to Penn State. Unless the university wants the exploits of it’s Division 1 teams and Greek societies splashed across the headlines it might want to reconsider it’s stance on this ridiculous punishment. I would imagine there are possible discrimination suits pending.

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