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Yukon youth hazing (Globe & Mail)

YOUTH SPORTS
Yukon soccer players suspended for hazings

JON MOLSON

The Canadian Press

November 19, 2008

WHITEHORSE — Three players on a Yukon under-14 soccer team have been suspended after their involvement in hazing incidents against fellow teammates at two tournaments outside the territory.

Brian Gillen, president of the Yukon Soccer Association, said yesterday that in addition to the suspensions, the players will have travel restrictions placed on them at future tournaments.

They were also required to apologize for their actions.

Mr. Gillen said the hazing incidents occurred at a Labour Day tournament in Langley, B.C., and at the nationals in October in Charlottetown.

The victims were covered with cellophane, obscene messages were applied to their skin, they were sprayed with water and their ears were filled with toothpaste. The under-14 boys team was given the sportsmanship award in Charlottetown.

Mr. Gillen said the association’s decision to suspend the players took into consideration consultations with local and national groups, which included schools in Whitehorse and the Canadian Soccer Association.

“We went through a lot of research to determine an appropriate course of action and therefore we believe that the course of action we are taking is correct,” he said.

“I have been around soccer in this town for 29 years, and to the best of my recollection this is the first [hazing] incident that we have had to deal with.”

The Yukon association has been dealing with the issue since late last month, when it received phone calls from two of the victims’ parents.

Yukon Soccer considered its response to the incident after speaking with the victims, their parents and those directly involved in the hazing.

The length of the suspensions are not being disclosed by the association and were given out after a team meeting on Sunday.

Yukon Soccer has a code of conduct for both on and off the field.

It was reviewed with all the Yukon teams that competed at this year’s nationals, but Mr. Gillen said the code needs to be made clearer in the future.

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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