Minor violation turned up in St. Lawrence University investigation of hockey team in Canton
Thursday, February 8, 2018 - 2:54 pm

CANTON – An investigation by St. Lawrence University into allegations that the Division I men’s hockey team might have violated NCAA rules has turned up “a minor violation.”

The violation involved requiring team members to watch a post-game video on a Sunday. The investigation also noted evidence of a complaint by one team member had been offended by “coaching staff language.”

The specific allegations have not been publicly revealed.

In a statement issued to the campus community Feb. 7, university Board of Trustees Chair Jeffery Boyd and Audit Committee Chair Eric Hanson said “the investigators reported 1) the evidence did not support allegations that there was an unsafe environment for student-athletes; 2) there was no evidence of financial aid improprieties; 3) in one instance there was evidence that a student-athlete was offended by coaching staff language; and 4) on one Sunday last fall, members of the team were required to watch post-game videos, constituting a minor violation of limits on NCAA countable athletically related activities.”

The trustees had directed the university on Dec. 5, 2017 to “review certain allegations received through email and social media relating to potential violations of NCAA rules or institutional policies in the men’s ice hockey program.” The board also retained a law firm that maintained a specialty in collegiate sports to conduct the investigation.

That report was issued to the board’s Audit Committee Feb. 6.

The investigation was extensive, examining 2,000 documents and other forms of information “from persons with first-hand knowledge of the men’s ice hockey program, including relevant documents provided by the University and its athletics department. They included medical records, financial aid records, individual personnel files, NCAA required monitoring records, emails, and other compliance resource materials,” the memo said. They also conducted “more than 55 recorded interviews, most of which were in person and a few by telephone, of current and former student-athletes, student managers and trainers, institutional staff members, assistant and head coaches, and outside individuals with varying degrees of association with the program.”

The Audit Committee members “accepted the report as meeting all expectations for thoroughness and fairness and recommended that no further action be taken in this matter, except to report the one NCAA rule violation referenced above.”

The statement from Boyd and Hanson said “The investigation and Report included very personal and confidential information from student-athletes, employees of the University and others who requested anonymity. The University will respect the confidentiality of all involved and have no further comment. We appreciate the cooperation of all who assisted in this investigation.”

SLU's Director of Media Relations and Strategic Communications Ryan Deuel said there would be no further comment from the university on the matter.

The team, the Saints, is 6-20-2 on the season overall and 2-13-1 in the ECAC.