Hazing News

USA TODAY Huddle by Gary Mihoces

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In a posting on his blog on, Nuwer calls on the commissioners of the major pro sports leagues to institute policies defining and prohibiting hazing. He writes:

“Call it entitlement. Call it what you will, commissioners, but you must call players on it. When it comes to passing the buck on hazing, no one passes it better than the likes of Bud Selig, Roger Goodell and David Stern — and their respective predecessors as commissioners.”

The NFL says such matters as whether rookies have to carry the shoulders pads of veteran is a “club matter,” up to the discretion of individual teams.

“None of this is an adult thing to do,” says Nuwer. “It is just another black mark on sports.”

Nuwer says the NCAA and the National Federation of State High School Associations have taken stands against hazing.

“We’re in an age of extremes, but we’re also in an age when players have gone through lecture after lecture at the high school and college level to say that you don’t have to put up with hazing,” he says. “And then you suddenly get into the NFL, and it’s ‘OK.’ But it isn’t.”

— Gary Mihoces

By Hank Nuwer

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. In April of 2024, the Alaska Press Club awarded him first place in the Best Columnist division and Best Humorist, second place.

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 current book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer is a former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird and former managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily-- and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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