(ISN) – OTTAWA, June 25, 2014 — The University of Ottawa announced today that it has
suspended its men’s varsity hockey program for the entire 2014-15 season. The
University also announced that it is putting in place new policies, practices and
procedures to manage hockey and other varsity and competitive sports programs,
including new behaviour guidelines for student-athletes.
These decisions were made following an internal review conducted by independent
experts. The review was undertaken after the University itself reported to Thunder
Bay police information it received in late February about allegations of misconduct
on the part of some members of its men’s hockey team during a road trip to Thunder
Bay January 30 to February 2, 2014. The police investigation continues.
As well, the head coach and program manager has been relieved of his duties. He was
not involved in the alleged incidents, but his reaction to them did not meet
University expectations. In particular, he failed to report the allegations to the
As part of the internal review, two independent experts in university sport
management, ethics and student disciplinary processes assessed the University’s
policies, practices and procedures. The evaluation by Dr. Lorne Adams, associate
professor and former athletic director at Brock University, and Manon Vaillancourt,
director, student life services, at the Université du Québec à Montréal, is being
made public today.
At the same time, independent investigator Steven Gaon conducted interviews related
to the events in Thunder Bay, including allegations of excessive drinking and sexual
misconduct. After reviewing Gaon’s findings, the University concluded that the
suspension of the men’s varsity hockey program imposed in March should continue
until the end of the 2014-2105 season.
Gaon’s findings reveal that while the events in Thunder Bay represented an isolated
incident, the behaviour of some players was unacceptable, did not reflect the
University’s values and failed to meet the University’s expectations of its
student-athletes. Gaon’s findings will not be published, to avoid any interference
with the ongoing police investigation and out of respect for the University’s
The University will work on rebuilding the men’s varsity hockey program over the
“We have taken this matter very seriously,” said University of Ottawa President
Allan Rock. “We have dealt with these troubling incidents and we have learned from
them. Now we are looking to the future and putting in place new measures that
include better training for all student-athletes and staff.”
The University also created its Task Force on Respect and Equality to assess broader
policies and practices related to all students. The task force is expected to
report in the fall.