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College Sports, Division I, Division II, Division III, Education

Boston University Men’s Ice Hockey Task Force Releases Report

On March 7, 2012, Boston University (hereinafter “BU”) President Robert A. Brown created and charged the Men’s Ice Hockey Task Force to provide an impartial assessment of the institution’s men’s ice hockey program. The purpose of the task force was to address concerns regarding the culture and climate of the program following sexual assault charges against two members of the team and to see if there was a relationship between the culture and the alleged actions. The primary assessment made by the committee would include three areas: (1) academic quality; (2) student-life issues; and (3) disciplinary history of members of the team. These areas would be measured in comparison to both other student-athletes and the general student body.

On August 28, 2012, the report was finalized and released. The assessment was broken down in two categories. The first category analyzed the structures, processes and procedures that govern all aspects of the men’s ice hockey program. The second category measured issues surrounding social and sexual interactions between men’s ice hockey student-athletes and the general student body. The results of these categories revealed there are “a number of important structures and processes that are failing to achieve the full level and quality of oversight of the men’s ice hockey program that is expected and appropriate at a major university” and that “a culture of sexual entitlement exists among some players on the men’s ice hockey team, stemming in part from their elevated status on campus.”

Pursuant to these findings, the task force provided recommendations to addresses these issues. The recommendations primarily focused on the following issues: (1) establishing clear lines of responsibility and accountability; (2) providing education, training and resources on sexual assault, alcohol and other important campus issues; (3) a review of the student-athlete code of conduct; (4) a strategic plan to better integrate student-athletes with the general student body; (5) formal communication avenues between athletics coaches and campus staff that frequently interface with student-athletes; and (6) develop policies and procedures for any misconduct that involves potential violations of University policies or federal, state or local laws.

Additionally, the institution found no NCAA rules-violations.

The full report can be found here.

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About Justin P. Sievert, Esquire

Bar Admissions (North Carolina, Florida and Tennessee) Practice Area (College Sports Law)

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