To all collegiate athletes too macho, too scared or too drunk to haze and tell, let events at the University of Vermont serve as a warning. Corey LaTulippe, a walk-on goalie, says that he and eight other freshmen were guests of dishonor at an Oct. 1 party thrown by the hockey team at which each freshman was forced to perform acts of degradation ranging from walking in an elephant line while holding each other's genitals to doing naked push-ups while dipping their penises into glasses of beer, which they were then forced to drink.
LaTulippe had told assistant athletic director Jeff Schulman about the initiation party two weeks before it happened, as well as an incident when he was directed by captains to accompany the team into a local bar with a fake I.D.—an offense for which he was fined by a liquor inspector. Schulman and athletic director Richard Farnham interviewed each Catamount and were told that no hazing had occurred and none was planned.
After a lawyer for LaTulippe, in an Oct. 28 letter, detailed specifics of the party, Vermont officials interviewed players and found some abuses, though not of the magnitude described by LaTulippe. Minor penalties were assessed, but officials later found evidence that misleading statements had been made. Though details were not made public, university president Judith Ramaley canceled the rest of the season, a month after LaTulippe, who has left Vermont, filed a lawsuit against the school.
Hockey is scheduled to resume for the 2000-01 season at Vermont; it's a good bet that some of the odious traditions associated with the program will not.