Cornell Lacrosse Keg Race, Team Building

May 25, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Cornell Big Red players stretch prior to the game against the Duke Blue Devils in the 2013 NCAA Division I men's lacrosse semifinals at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
Courtesy: Rich Barnes

Attention: I’m not condoning underage,binge drinking. I’m just noting the hypocrisy.

Lacrosse Playground reported about the Cornell Lacrosse’ hazing incident September 19. Today, we have more information (below) released by the university. In essence, what we have here is a team coming together to encourage unity. This isn’t something new – kids at schools, adults at corporations, ad infinitum.

In this country, if you are 18 years of age, then you are considered an adult. In reality, 18 year olds are nowhere near as mature as a true adult. 18 year olds’ minds and bodies are still forming and molding. However, by virtue of their age, they are legally competent to make and live by their own decisions. If you don’t want to drink, then don’t drink. You’re not going to be kicked off the team for refusing to drink. Just say no. Be your own person. Culturally, it would be hard to say no…

Yes, drinking under age is illegal. Enacting a law doesn’t mean it’s any harder obtain alcohol. The National Minimum Drinking Age Act was passed in 1984. Moreover, nine states permit underage people to consume alcohol “in the presence of consenting and supervising family members.” New York is one of these states. In theory, members of the team can provide alcohol for underaged players.

People need to stop attacking the so-called drinking culture as a horrible ideal that perpetuates demonic societal ills. Drinking occurs everywhere in the world. It’s not sport-specific or regionally-specific. It happens, so let’s deal with the circumstances and not speak totally in ideals.

In terms of the menial chores administered by older players…give me a break. Allow me to expound. The real world is ripe with instances of menial labor. It’s expected of a new employee to copy documents, fetch Starbucks, and be the supervisor’s minion.

Cornell’s hazing history explains its recent actions.

Begin reading Cornell’s updated statement below:

Description: On September 12, 2013, the Department of Athletics and Physical Education received information informing them that the new members of the men’s varsity lacrosse team were being hazed by the upperclass members of the team. The investigation revealed the presence of a culture within this group of treating new members as less than equals. The freshmen were expected to perform menial tasks, including chores and other duties that went above and beyond those expected of the general membership. Additionally, they were expected to spend a large amount of time with the other members in both lacrosse-related and social situations planned by upperclass members of the team. At one such social gathering, upperclass team members organized a “keg race” in which underage freshmen members, aided by seniors, were challenged to drink a large amount of alcohol (beer) in a competition against other team members. The freshmen were told to stand in a circle and were tied together with string that was passed through their belt loops. They consumed a large quantity of alcohol to the point at which multiple members vomited.

Outcome: On September 13, the Cornell men’s varsity lacrosse team was placed on temporary suspension, pending the outcome of the investigation. Immediately following the conclusion of the investigation and determination of the hazing infractions, the team was notified that all Fall 2013 competitions had been canceled. The team will participate in anti-hazing education programs and workshops and those members negatively affected by the hazing incidents will be provided support.

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Lacrosse Playground

In 2009, Adam O’Neill, Harry Alford and Thomas Alford launched Lacrosse Playground as the preeminent site for lacrosse gearheads. For years Lacrosse Playground provided lacrosse fans with tutorials and tips on how to string a lacrosse head, up-close looks at the gear the top players used and sneak peeks at equipment and uniforms before they were released. More than 10 years and millions of visits later, Lacrosse Playground has relaunched with a focus on storytelling. Our mission is to provide comprehensive coverage of the latest lacrosse news, share insights into the sports betting and fantasy lacrosse world and showcase the lifestyles and personalities of the sport of lacrosse through articles, videos and podcasts.

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