Moderator:   The letter, presumably well intentioned, demonstrates why educators and coaches need to emphasize why “voluntary participation” by athletes is no excuse in a court.


In a letter, obtained by Action News, one of the suspended player concedes – in her words – “You know just as well as I do, our team had a freshman welcome week, there is no denying that.”

Action News had previously reported that freshman players were given written instructions on things they had to do or there would be consequences.

It’s alleged that those students had to consume alcohol, perform sexual acts involving inappropriate touching and lap dances, and other acts to graphic to outline.

The player acknowledged the existence of the letter outlining those things, but she says everything was meant to be voluntary.

The player says she now realizes that some students may have thought that they were required.

In the letter she refers to the inappropriate touching by saying, “To us, this is no big deal because we do that all the time.”

She also goes on to say, “One of the events planned was a lap dance.”

Here is the Link



The defendants — Benjamin McNamee, 24; Aaron Golson, 22; and Darryl Cearnel, 28; are being tried together and each face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

Known as “Crossing Bus C,” the ritual required band members to make their way through a pounding gauntlet of fists, drumsticks and mallets from the front of the bus to the back. Two other band members — Lissette Sanchez and Keon Hollis — went through the bus before Champion, and survived.

A total of 15 former band members were charged with manslaughter. One, Jessie Baskin, served one year in county jail. Others plea bargained for probation and community service. The band itself was suspended for more than a year while officials tried to clean up the program.

Dante Martin, now 27 and serving a six-year term for felony hazing and manslaughter, is the only former band member to receive prison time the death of Champion.

Martin’s attorneys told his jurors that there was no actual hazing, likening the ritual to a “competition” in which Champion and the others voluntarily took part.

But state attorney Jeff Ashton said testimony made it clear that band members were looking for a measure of respect and acceptance by “crossing Bus C,” and that their willing participation was “not a defense” for those who were charged.


This is a truly comprehensive law journal article on hazing. I learned several things I did not know. Kudos.


In order to sensibly discuss the problem of collegiate hazing, one should first attempt to quantify the problem. The available data suggests that collegiate hazing is extremely common—approximately half of all college students report experiencing behavior that may be considered hazing 12 —but perceptions of the number of hazing deaths are greatly inflated. Since 1970, on average, three hazing deaths occur each year in the United States. 13

As with other types of criminal activity, 14 there are two approaches to measuring incidents of collegiate hazing: compiling reports of hazing incidents and surveying individuals about their experiences with hazing. Both approaches must contend with two primary problems: the lack of a generally accepted definition of hazing 15 and the fact that most hazing is shrouded in secrecy. 16

1. Compiled Hazing Reports

There is no governmental or private organization that compiles statistics of hazing incidents, injuries, and deaths. 17 Instead, most of the literature on hazing relies on the work of journalism professor and anti-hazing activist Hank Nuwer, 18 who has compiled reports of collegiate deaths due to hazing since 1990. 19

Despite popular perception to the contrary, there is little evidence of a significant increase in hazing deaths in recent decades. Nuwer reports that from 1838 to 1969 there were thirty-nine collegiate hazing deaths. 20 There were twenty-six deaths in the 1970s, twenty-nine in the 1980s, twenty-eight in the 1990s, and thirty-five in the 2000s. 21 To put deaths due to hazing in context, from 2005 to 2012 there were on average 19.25 murders each year at American colleges and universities. 22


This is a powerful segment.

Found my appearance on “The Dangers of Sports Hazing” (second TV program down).