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Aiken (SC) Standard Letter in support of hazed Clemson soccer player Haley Hunt

I am disappointed at both the Aiken Standard and the Aiken community for not rallying around and supporting Haley Hunt, the young Clemson student who has filed legal complaints against several members and former members of the university’s athletic department and administrative staff for serious injuries suffered during a women’s soccer team hazing ritual.

The Standard has reported only the allegations and Clemson’s defense of the charges and has not bothered to point out that Hunt was much more than an excellent soccer player at Aiken High. An outstanding student and leader, she graduated in the top 10 of her class, was president of the student council – a position to which she was elected by the student body – and was a National Merit Scholarship Finalist. Hunt is a vivacious, kind-hearted, selfless young person of impeccable character. Typifying her more than anything else is her strong Christian faith, one whose principles she lives and speaks about fearlessly. Undoubtedly, this suit was initiated after much prayer, counsel and repeated attempts to reconcile the matter with Clemson.

Unfortunately, such hazing on college campuses is not atypical, and I think few would doubt the truth of the allegations. The authorities at Clemson are scrambling to protect themselves. The shame of the matter is that Haley was offered admission and scholarships to many more prestigious universities but chose Clemson – and now it appears they are throwing her under the bus.

By Hank Nuwer

Hank Nuwer is the Indiana-based author of Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press.

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