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USA TODAY Huddle by Gary Mihoces

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In a posting on his blog on HankNuwer.com, 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

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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