By Tim Healey/DFP Staff
The hockey task force called for by Boston University President Robert Brown in the spring released its report on Wednesday, which included a series of recommendations that BU and BU Athletics have already started to implement. For those of you that don’t want to sift through the entire report and Brown’s letter to the BU community, here are some highlights:
–Brown put the task force together in March following the December arrest of Corey Trivino and the February arrest of Max Nicastro, both for sexual assault charges.
–Given the arrests, the BU president wanted to look into the “culture and climate” of the team.
–The task force, led by BU Trustee Dr. Jonathan R. Cole and BU Provost Jean Morrison, was made up of 16 people, all of whom were either BU staff, faculty or trustees.
–The task force had six meetings as a whole and had further meetings within its three sub-comittees: one on performance and student life, one on team culture and climate, and one on sexual assault and sexual harassment.
–There is a “culture of sexual entitlement” among some players on the team
–“Assessment of team members’ recent disciplinary history did not reveal a pattern of infractions that was significantly different, in type or number, from the undergraduate population as a whole.”
–Members of the team often become isolated very quickly from the rest of the students “by virtue of their housing arrangements, having their own functionally exclusive training and competition venue, and the demands of team participation.”
–The team’s academic performance “falls below that of the undergraduate student body as a whole.”
–The fact that some BU players have been drafted by NHL teams contributes “to a culture and climate in which players may not be fully engaged in the academic, intellectual and extra-curricular activities” the way other students are.
–No NCAA infractions were found.
–Required “sexual assault prevention training on an annual basis” for the team.
–“A review of the processes and standards used by admissions for recruits” to make sure student-athletes “are academically prepared to be successful students.”
–Men’s hockey head coach Jack Parker should step down as the executive director of athletics.
–BU should not give student-athletes the option of enrolling in the Metropolitan College.
–BU should work with “local businesses, campus area bars, and restaurants” to “help ensure the safety of all students.”
–The team should review and re-write team rules. Said rules should include “clearly articulated expectations for players’ behavior both on and off the ice, as well as the disciplinary actions” that could result if players went against team policy.
Both Parker and Athletic Director Mike Lynch sent out statements following the task force findings release.
Parker said: “I think their summary of findings is accurate. More importantly, I feel their recommendations for action will help our team, other student-athletes and the student body in general to ensure a better all-around experience.
“I fully agree with the NCAA and task force’s recommendation to split up my two jobs. When asked to choose one or the other, it was easy for me to choose my position as our head hockey coach. My staff and I endorse the findings and it is our job to implement and monitor the recommendations that are specific to the hockey team.”
Lynch said the school has his department’s full support as it begins to put the recommendations into action — a process that has already begun.
“Throughout this process, we have ensured that the University administration and our athletic department continue to share the same goals in regards to our men’s ice hockey program and its future as part of BU’s campus life,” Lynch said. “This has been a challenging year, but we are ready to move forward as an even stronger athletic program.”
The Daily Free Press will have more on the task force on Thursday.