Members of the men’s lacrosse team have been penalized with a two-game suspension after an external investigation found that the lacrosse players at a women’s volleyball home game against Smith College last semester were guilty of “unacceptable behavior” at the game.
The Office of Equal Opportunity hired an attorney in October to conduct an external investigation after a Tufts student alleged that the players harassed Smith College players at the Sept. 21 game from the stands in Counsens Gymnasium. A alleged that the players called out sexist and racist insults that disparagingly referenced the Smith players by name and threatened them during the game.
The investigation, according to a letter from Arts and Sciences Dean of Undergraduate and Graduate Students John Barker and Director of Athletics Bill Gehling, found through interviews with other spectators, players, and coaches from both volleyball teams that “unacceptable behavior did occur, and members of our men’s lacrosse team were responsible for that behavior.”
The letter does not further specify the players’ behavior or how many members of the men’s lacrosse team are being punished. It notes that “There is no scenario within collegiate team sports that would support the use of race or gender as the basis for jeering, heckling, or taunting members of a team.”
All members of the team present at the game will be benched for two games in the upcoming season and have been asked to write letters of apology to the Tufts and Smith volleyball coaches and the two teams.
In addition, the letter states that “any individual student who is found to have violated the Tufts Student Code of Conduct will face the judicial processes of the Office of Student Affairs.”
Barker and Gehling’s letter can be read on JumboSlice here and in print in the Daily tomorrow.