The women’s softball team took a bold stance this week in light of accusations that upperclassmen hazed new members of the team. First those accusations: sources close to the ongoing investigation say that the younger players given notes with written instructions from upperclassmen telling them that it was “Deliverance Week, sickness ” (reference to Burt Reynolds movie, buy nice!) and that the time has come for them to show respect. The note also went on to say that if they don’t follow instructions there would be “dire consequences.”
No, sales they didn’t take the freshmen on a rafting trip in Appalachia, but those being hazed had to not only consume alcohol, but also perform acts involving inappropriate touching, lap dances for upperclassman on the team, and they also mimic various sex acts. The report also says that the incident also included “other things too graphic to be outlined.”
So what did the St. Joseph’s women’s softball team do in response? They released a rather bold statement asking their classmates to trust them that they didn’t do anything wrong and that they, ” We take an immense amount of pride in our program, and the thought of our community thinking less of our character is the hardest piece to swallow.” If they are innocent of the charges then bravo to them for taking such a bstand in front of mounting pressure. If they are guilty though (or did the deeds but don’t see anything wrong with what they did which is the most likely scenario) this statement will haunt them–and the school’s athletic program–forever:
In response to media reports that you may have heard about or seen on the SJU softball team, we wanted to address our community directly. We hope you’ll read this letter without any bias.
We live, eat and breathe SJU softball. We love our school – the field we play on, the public safety officers that come to our games, our coaches that dedicate so much time and energy to our development, and the community that allows us to wear the Hawks logo on our uniforms.
As a team, we are devastated by the allegations and resulting reports that have come about in recent weeks. We take an immense amount of pride in our program, and the thought of our community thinking less of our character is the hardest piece to swallow.
We respect the ongoing investigation and the officials involved and cannot address specific allegations at this time. As you have likely seen, they are serious and not to be taken lightly – but the buzzwords reported by the media do not capture the spirit of our culture.
What we can tell you right now is this: we have the utmost respect for each other and this school. Every person on our team – past and present – is family. We hold each other accountable and we support each other on and off the field. We make each other better as players and as people.
If you have a class with us, share a dorm with us, eat with us in the cafeteria, we ask you this: let your gut determine the kind of people we are, and hold off on judgment in light of recent reports. Though we cannot discuss specific allegations right now, we can work to maintain your trust and respect.
It is our hope that you haven’t lost faith in us. We are facing allegations head on and with our heads held high. Hawk Hill is too important to us to do anything less.
Members of the SJU Softball Team