Wheaton Hazing Representation of Larger Problem

Wheaton Hazing Representation of Larger Problem

Carlos Peterson, Sports Editor

The American collegiate athletic system has a track record of doing what’s best for their school, not necessarily what is right. Five Wheaton College football players are facing felony charges after allegations of extreme hazing on March 16, 2016. The accuser himself has not revealed his identity. However, evidence so far has been in favor of the victim. It was alleged that the five players— James Cooksey, Kyler Kregel, Noah Spielman, Benjamin Pettway and Samuel TeBos sodomized a fellow teammate while tearing both of the victim’s shoulder muscles as well as sodomizing occurring during the course of the hazing. Wheaton College condemned thes behavior as unacceptable and  said it does not align with the values of the college, which has a zero tolerance policy for hazing.

While Wheaton College launched an internal investigation and suspended the young men from school, three of the five players took the field last week in a game against Carthage College. The college’s allowing the playing of these three players is a pattern in a line of incidents where the actions of athletes are not properly dealt with in criminal cases. Even though the details of the case are being discussed, there’s no denying unimpeded harm was bestowed upon the victim. The players in question turned themselves in and have since posted bond.

Instances such as the one that took place in Wheaton are opportunities to teach and let players know this is absolutely unacceptable. Wheaton shamed this behavior. However, letting the players continue to represent the school on the football field has given me a reason to believe that this was simply a formality. The college has no serious intention of punishing these players. Every year in colleges across the country young men from all around are subjected to the testosterone-induced power trips that upperclassmen forcibly subject underclassmen to. The lack of repercussions tied to hazing has allowed these acts of idiocy to become OK.

Wheaton must remove these players from the program if they want to uphold the integrity of their institution. Failing to do so will result in the diminishment of the credibility this university once had. In a sport that is predicated on the ability of 11 players to work together and an overwhelming message of brotherhood this must be come down on….. hard.