Hazing leads to soccer suspensions

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The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has an eight-year-old, 58-page hazing prevention handbook that is designed to describe, depict and provide a detailed synopsis of the rules and regulations that collegiate athletes must abide by in relation to hazing.

Not only does the NCAA have regulations on hazing, but so does each university. For instance, Pacific University has a hazing handbook that must be read and understood by all students. Although there are multiple bodies of text that regulate hazing, there is ambiguity within the rules.

The NCAA handbook starts with an opening statement: “Any act committed against someone joining or becoming a member or maintaining membership in any organization that is humiliating, intimidating or demeaning, or endangers the health and safety of the person.

Hazing includes active or passive participation in such acts and occurs regardless of the willingness to participate in the activities! Hazing creates an environment or climate in which dignity and respect are absent.” All student athletes must adhere to this statement, yet the NCAA’s statement on hazing is ambiguous, vague, arguably disorganized and lacking the proper language to adequately regulate such a substantial number of athletes.

The language used in this statement is scarce in sophistication and does not solidify the rules in a proper way.

“The current NCAA rules on hazing may be acceptable but they must be constantly adjusted and updated each year in order to continue to be beneficial and useful for the students,” Senior baseball player Justin Stayer said.

Hazing is wrong, and I do not condone it in the slightest, yet the haphazard language in the rule creates a problem.

A recent incident involving the Pacific women’s soccer team has brought this ambiguity to the forefront of campus whispers.

The soccer team recently had a number of upperclassmen suspended for one game for their involvement in hazing.

The incident consisted of encouraging freshmen to paint their faces like clowns and run from dorm to dorm asking for condoms.

The new team members were acknowledged for obtaining the highest amount of condoms. According to an anonymous source, “No one was pressured into doing it, we chose to participate.”

According to the NCAA regulations, this is a violation of the hazing policy, yet so is a senior simply telling a freshman to pack up all the team gear. This is the issue with an extremely vague rule. Where is the line drawn?

There must be a change in the structure of the NCAA’s hazing regulations to accommodate each and every circumstance.

To avoid hazing from happening, having athletes sign a contract, with not only the NCAA, but the university and team itself, would be a preferable monitoring system.

Athletes will be more liable for hazing if there are written out consequences that render the athletes responsible for their actions.

All punishments are objective and there are no set rules to regulate them, in turn allowing for the university to make their own judgement on the incident, which can cause teams to be destroyed and pin teammates against each other.

The NCAA has an obligation to create a safe and amazing experience for student athletes. The NCAA must reevaluate the language used in their hazing policy and make adjustments as it seems fit.


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