Cornell University just released a statement regarding their dismissal of Men’s Lacrosse Head Coach Ben DeLuca this week. Though they stated his firing was entirely due to the direction they want the program to go, most beliefs are aiming at the recent reports of hazing on their team.
There has been a lot of shady news in the world of sports across the board lately. Richie Incognito of the Miami Dolphins is being questioned as a suspect in the mistreatment of Jonathan Martin, a fellow teammate. Over the summer and early in the fall semester of 2013, reports surfaced publicly that hazing was taking place within the Cornell men’s lacrosse team. Freshmen were said to have been forced to chug kegs while tied up until THEY were empty (THEY was left as open interpretation in meaning the kegs or the players).
With everything that went on recently, many are realizing it is not the quantity of hazing events, but the severity of the reported ones. As they say, when there’s a will, there’s a way. Hazing will always happen. Drivers will forever run red lights hoping not to get caught (especially on Long Island). The acknowledgment and repercussions of them, however, will begin to weigh much heavier.
Due to the public reaction to the Incognito accusations of bullying and regular organization hazing, I believe Cornell University made the correct reactions:
- Cancelled all fall-ball activities, events and competitions. Though this won’t stop them from hanging out and partying together, it will show in their performance during the season and that will be punishment on its own.
- Firing the head coach this week. Though he was a fantastic coach, reflected honorably in his record last season, overall and as a student in attendance at Cornell, he is the front face of the team. Therefore, responsibility falls onto him, and the program/university needed to take drastic action immediately.
I agree with the university entirely. The offensive coach, Matt Kerwick, is named interim head coach while the school looks for a suitable replacement. Learning from these recent reports of hazing and misconduct shows the ramifications ultimately fall onto the school. The faster the schools react to the events, the less talk, debate and media misinterpretation can occur. DeLuca had been with Cornell for ten years and has been the head coach since 2010.