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Ottawa suspends varsity men’s hockey team

June 25, 2014

University of Ottawa has suspended its varsity men’s hockey program for the 2014-15 Ontario University Athletics season after an internal investigation into allegations of what the university is calling “excessive drinking and sexual misconduct” by members of the team during a trip to Thunder Bay last January.

The team was suspended indefinitely in March, shortly after it was eliminated from the playoffs by the Queen’s Golden Gaels, when the allegations came to light. Wednesday’s announcement means the Gee-Gees will not return to intercollegiate competition until the fall of 2015 at the earliest.

Coach Real Paiement was fired Wednesday. It’s not alleged he was involved in the incident, but in a release the university said he failed to report it to administrators when he became aware of it.

A police investigation continues.

Two internal probes arose from the incident, one that looked into the incident itself and the other that examined the university’s practices, policies and procedures.

The former investigation, by Steve Goan, concluded though that the events in Thunder Bay may have been an isolated incident, the behaviour of some hockey players was “was unacceptable, did not reflect the university’s values and failed to meet the university’s expectators of its student-athletes,” according to a release from the university.

His full report will not be published.

It was not revealed how much it cost the university to conduct the investigations.

“We have dealt with these troubling incidents and we have learned from them,” university president Allan Rock said, in the release. “Now we are looking to the future and putting in place new measures that include better training for all student-athletes and staff.”

Rock said the university would be establishing new behaviour guidelines for its student-athletes.

The OUA announced that the men’s hockey schedule, announced earlier this month, will be rewritten.

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