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Guardian: Caution needed to keep USA sports team hazing free after recent rugby death of Brit schoolboy

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Excerpt:

In effect, says Hank Nuwer, a leading hazing researcher and author, “in many cases you’ve got two freshman classes – the freshmen who were here the last year and couldn’t go to school, and the incoming freshmen. And so these freshmen who are now actually sophomores haven’t had these education programmes, they haven’t had the coaches talking to them and have gotten the prohibitions. And that’s what’s worrisome, what these sophomores might do to the incoming class.”

David Kerschner and Elizabeth Allan of the University of Maine surveyed students in five colleges and found that overall 40.9% of athletes experienced hazing, compared to 24.8% of non-athletes. Drinking games were the most common form of hazing, followed by ridicule at “roast”-style events. “Athletes were statistically significantly more likely to experience harassment hazing than their peers in fraternities and sororities and other group organisations,” Kerschner said.

Athletes were also more likely than non-athletes to be supportive of hazing – defined in a major 2008 study as “any activity expected of someone joining or participating in a group that humiliates, degrades, abuses, or endangers  Link

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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