Boston University president Robert A. Brown announced today that the school wants to assemble a task force “to examine the culture of men’s hockey.”
Wait. So two days after Max Nicastro pleads “not guilty” to two counts of rape, Boston University’s administration wants to assemble a task force to examine “the culture” of the program?
Two BU hockey players – Nicastro and Corey Trivino – have faced charges relating to sexual assault (and have been suspended) in a four-month span, and the administration wants to create a glorified committee, with meetings and all?
Becuase nothing says, “hey, let’s do something proactive about this problem” like conducting meetings over the next few months.
This situation doesn’t just require an examination. It should require consequences.
Consider the extreme: Suspending the program for the remainder of the season – or at least forfeiting berths in the Hockey East and/or NCAA tournaments – and making an example of the group. Such has happened before: In 2000, Vermont suspended its men’s hockey program for the remainder of the 1999-2000 season, in light of a hazing scandal on campus. Duke suspended its mens lacrosse program in 2006, after allegations of rape surfaced following an off-campus party. (Charges were ultimately dropped against three lacrosse players and the district attorney who prosecuted the case was disbarred.)
But that won’t happen.
From today’s BU release regarding said task force:
“We will ask the task force to look at our program with fresh, impartial eyes,” Brown says, “to determine whether the culture of hockey at BU meets the high standards of our academic community. If it does not, if the task force finds a culture where players are privileged or entitled or held to lesser standards, it will recommend changes to the way we think about and manage our hockey program.”
Furthermore, this task force will include ” representatives from the faculty, staff, and University trustees and overseers” and “will be determined over the next several weeks, as will the specifics of its charge.”
Here’s a tip: Include students on this task force. Maybe even include non-hockey athletes.
Seek out people who interact with members of the hockey team on a daily basis, who live in the same buildings and take the same classes as members of the hockey team. They’ll be able to give you some stronger insight on the kinds of people members of the hockey team are (no, they aren’t all bad, but what’s happened at BU hasn’t helped the profile), what they bring to the culture of the school and how they are perceived, character-wise, versus who they really are.