LAWRENCE, N.J. (CBS) — Rider University handed down a week-long suspension to its Men’s cross-country team last month. A school spokeswoman says all 28 team members were stopped by Public Safety officers just before they planned to run laps- sans clothing- at the track. Rider University issued a statement Friday about the incident:
“On the night of September 5, Rider’s Public Safety Department responded to a report of students gathered at the track. Public Safety officers determined the students were members of the men’s cross-country team who were planning to run laps naked. Public Safety officers intervened before this took place. The students were also in possession of alcohol.READ MORE: Biden Administration Enacts New Travel Rules Due To Spread Of COVID-19 Omicron Variant
Public Safety conducted an investigation involving all 28 members of the team. The Lawrence Township Police Department was not notified. The ensuing investigation revealed that no ill intent was involved, nor was there intent on the part of any of the team members to coerce participation.READ MORE: Temple University Parents To Rally Over Safety After Samuel Collington's Death
Nevertheless, we take these situations very seriously. The students charged in the incident had their cases processed through Rider’s Office of Community Standards as outlined in Rider’s Student Code of Social Conduct. Although no ill intent or coercion was involved, the team’s behavior was unacceptable and is indeed considered hazing. Some individuals have been charged with alcohol violations and hazing.
The team’s head coach suspended practice immediately after the incident occurred on September 5 until the investigation was complete on September 10. Additionally, the entire men’s team was suspended from and did not compete in a Rider hosted invitational cross country meet on Saturday, September 19.MORE NEWS: Philadelphia Police: Man Injured After Being Shot Near Fox Chase Wawa
Both the team’s head coach and our director of Athletics have met with the team to educate them on why their actions were inappropriate and reinforce Rider’s student code of conduct.”