Approximately half the members of the University of San Diego football team are facing disciplinary action due to alleged hazing in the FCS program, according to a letter penned by university president James T. Harris III.
In the letter recently sent to staff members, Harris wrote that some players received “indefinite game suspensions.” He also said Saturday’s opener against host Cal Poly will proceed as scheduled.
Harris said the university forwarded results of its investigation to San Diego police and also hired an outside firm to conduct an independent review.
“I write to you today to share the deeply disturbing news that members of the USD football program have been accused of violating the university’s no-hazing policy,” Harris wrote to staff. “I wish to commend the courageous young men who truthfully recounted what had transpired. They represent the high character and integrity we hope to see in our students.”
The names of players who have been disciplined haven’t been released by USD.
According to USA Today, first-year coach Brandon Moore was notified of the hazing allegations on Aug. 18. Moore then reported the allegations to athletic director Bill McGillis.
Team activities were suspended during the school investigation. San Diego interviewed players as part of its investigation. Practices resumed Aug. 23.
The university said no physical injuries were reported.
Harris wrote that the university doesn’t tolerate hazing.
“Hazing or bullying of any sort is a reprehensible act that denies a person the respect and dignity they deserve,” Harris wrote. “As a university, we must continue to strive to make this a community where there is no place for such behavior as we work together to create a more inclusive, sustainable and hopeful world.”
The USD incident comes a month after a major hazing scandal at Northwestern became public. Longtime Wildcats coach Pat Fitzgerald was fired in the fallout.
–Field Level Media