Club hockey team dealt five-year ban for violating alcohol policy, hazing

The Central Michigan club hockey team received a five-year suspension Friday for violating the Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities and Disciplinary Procedures, according to the Office of Student Life.

The team was charged with violation of section 3.2.13 (alcohol policy), section 3.2.19 (hazing) and section 3.2.25 (violations by a registered student organization), said Tom Idema, assistant director of Student Life.

“There was a hearing this morning and the men’s club hockey team at CMU was found in violation of all charges,” Idema said. “As a result, (the team) has been suspended for five years, or until fall 2017.”

Team president Matt Cinader, a senior from Ortonville, and team adviser Robert Gergehl met with Idema and other members of the Office of Student Life Friday morning for the team’s hearing, said senior captain Ricky Jones.

“There were four of us, and our faculty adviser, but only the faculty adviser and Matt Cinader went into the hearing,” Jones said. “It lasted about an hour and each side told their side.”

Jones said the team went into the hearing wanting a one to two year probationary period, with weekly meetings with the Office of Student Life, community service hours and meetings with the community’s youth to promote abstinence from alcohol and hazing.

“The university proposed a four-year ban, but, somehow, it became a five-year ban after the hearing,” he said. “They said they wanted every person involved in the organization to be gone by the time the team came around again, including the freshmen.”

CMU began investigating the team following a Sept. 14 party at the home of multiple players on Deerfield Road. Photos of the event were posted on players’ Facebook pages, which were presented during the hearing Friday.

Jones said members of the team were present during the party, as well as non-team members, and not every rookie partook in the hazing.

“At the end of the night, police came, but no tickets were warranted and the police actually commended us on how well we handled it with them, and getting everybody out of the house,” Jones said.

Seven police cars arrived on scene, Jones said.

In result of the original temporary suspension, the opening weekend of games against the University of Michigan-Dearborn were cancelled last weekend.

Club hockey can file an appeal, according to the Code of Student Rights responsibilities and disciplinary procedures, and Jones said the team plans to.

“We have five business days to file an appeal,” he said. “We don’t plan on giving up. We’re looking into things, but we are going to appeal it.”

Club hockey is one of 42 club sports listed as RSO through the Office of Student Life at CMU.

An RSO can lose its status if an organization has outstanding university debt, fails to follow its constitution or due to campus conduct issues, according to the RSO manual.

Head coach Michael Willett said the situation was “in the student–athletes’ hands,” which Jones said was done upon the players’ request.

The captain said 40 people within the team and community wrote to Idema during the investigation.

“We all wrote letters to him personally apologizing, and there were faculty members and members of the community saying we were good people, though those were not brought up during the hearing,” Jones said.

The team made its name known among Division II teams in 2011 when it reached the American Collegiate Hockey Assocation National Tournament in San Jose, Calif., finishing third in Pool C.

CMU ended its 2011-12 season following a loss to Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville in the opening round of the regional tournament.


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