PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — La Salle University has placed its women’s soccer team on disciplinary probation after an investigation found examples of “non-violent, power differential hazing.” The probation is effective immediately until Dec. 31, 2020, a university official says.
Despite La Salle University’s campus shutting down for winter break, the school is heating up with controversy.
“As a dad, I must admit to you, I was kind of angry. I had a ton of mixed emotions,” Al Miller said.
In a phone interview, Al Miller, of Union, New Jersey, described some of the hazing his daughter freshman forward Kayla Miller-People says she experienced from her teammates.
“They’d make her stand in a circle and not based on any practice activity or skill or anything, where they would kick balls at them,” Miller said.
Miller says Miller-People speaking up only exacerbated her problems, causing depression and soccer coach Paul Royal kicking her off of the team.
La Salle says its investigation revealed examples of “non-violent, power differential hazing.”
The school released a statement reading in part:
“While the investigation found no behavior necessitating University disciplinary action against specific individuals, we take very seriously all claims of hazing and other forms of inappropriate behavior. At La Salle, we adhere to the Lasallian values and promote a campus community of inclusivity, mutual respect and solidarity. Deviations from these tenents are antithetical to our mission and will not be tolerated.”
The school says all players on the women’s soccer team must now complete an educational workshop focused on respecting teammates and bystander intervention.
Spring season competition will also be restricted and the team must perform community service next semester.
“It’s pretty surprising to me,” freshman Alexandra Straub said.
“I’m really shocked about it. It’s not the culture we have on the athletic teams at La Salle I believe,” freshman Jason Rosales said.
Rosales is on the school’s swim team.
“On our team, the swim team, we’re such a tight-knit family,” Rosales said. “I couldn’t see that happening to any of us.”
“I mean, obviously it’s a serious matter. They’re investigating it. Makes sense they’ll be taking it very seriously,” freshman Matthew Brajuka said.
According to a university spokesperson, the investigation found no evidence of behavior warranting disciplinary action against any one individual.
Miller says he’s reached out to an attorney about the incident.
CBS3 has reached out to Royal, but have not yet heard back.