(Reuters) - The hazing incident that prompted Cornell University to cancel the men’s lacrosse team’s fall season included making new players chug beer to the point that some vomited, the Ivy League school said on Monday.
Older teammates challenged new members to drink heavily and assigned them menial chores as part of a culture of hazing, the university said on a website dedicated to combating hazing.(Cornell website: hazing.cornell.edu/)
“The freshmen were told to stand in a circle and were tied together with string that was passed through their belt loops. They consumed a large quantity of alcohol to the point at which multiple members vomited,” the school said.
Dangerous college hazing rituals have attracted more attention since the 2011 beating death of 26-year-old Florida A&M University drum major Robert Champion during a band trip.
Cornell University cracked down on hazing following the death in 2011 of a sophomore during a fraternity ritual in which he drank excessive amounts of alcohol, according to The New York Times.
Hazing also violates New York state law, according to Cornell.
Cornell did not say when the lacrosse hazing incident happened, only that the university learned about it on September 12. The university investigated and on September 19 canceled the team’s fall season, according to the New York Times.
ESPN, noting lacrosse is a spring sport, said cancellation of the fall season was a slap on the wrist for the team.
Last season, Cornell’s record was 14-4, losing in the NCAA semifinals to eventual national champion Duke.
“The team will participate in anti-hazing education programs and workshops and those members negatively affected by the hazing incidents will be provided support,” the school said.
Reporting by Barbara Goldberg; Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Lisa Shumaker