Eastern Kentucky University

Oct 23, 2012 11:00 PM

EKU Men's Rugby Team Suspended After Hazing Allegation

No meetings, no practices and no games.

That's the word from Eastern Kentucky University about the men's rugby team. The interim suspension comes after an allegation of hazing.

The Associate Vice President of Student Affairs at EKU, Dr. Mike Reagle, says a student came forward this morning with the allegation of hazing. Within hours the University Hazing Investigation Committee decided the allegation was credible enough to warrant a suspension. A letter was presented to the men's rugby team telling them they were suspended this afternoon.

The news had students at EKU surprised.

"Especially from a sports team, a club team, you usually don't get that. It's a bizarre situation," says Thomas Matthews, a student-athlete at EKU.

The men's rugby team should be on the field getting ready for playoffs. Instead, the whole team is on the bench.

"The University Hazing Committee looked at the allegation earlier today and felt they had enough validity to do the interim suspension, but nobody's been talked to. Nobody's been asked any questions," explains Dr. Reagle.

He says it's too early to say what the allegation was about. Dr. Reagle says the student who made the allegation wasn't hospitalized to his knowledge, nor was it life-threatening.

"Normally when things happen, with word on the street it gets around, but I had no idea. I'm kind of shocked," says Deverin Muff, a student-athlete at EKU.

"I've been to their parties, and these guys are pretty fun. So I wouldn't expect it from them," says Thomas.

But the University Hazing Investigation Committee says they found this allegation credible.

"We take it very seriously. It's something we believe in; we want to make sure our students are safe," says Dr. Reagle.

We reached out to a prominent member of the rugby team who told LEX18 via email: "We don't make the players on our team do anything they don't want to do, whether they're ole boys or rookies. The rugby team is a brotherhood, not some group that abuses and disrespects our members. We hold our pride highly."

The men's rugby team is in the middle of their season. They won't be able to have anymore practices, games, or parties until the investigation is complete.

The EKU University Hazing Investigation Committee is made up of students and faculty. They plan to conduct interviews of the men's rugby team and other people connected to the incident.

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