Report on Hockey Program Investigation | St. Lawrence University President's Office

Report on Hockey Program Investigation

To:                          The St. Lawrence Community

From:                      Chair of the Board of Trustees Jeffery Boyd
                                Chair of the Audit Committee Eric Hanson

Date:                        February 7, 2018

Subject:                    Investigation of the Men’s Ice Hockey Program

On December 5, 2017, the St. Lawrence University Board of Trustees, in its governance role to assure compliance with all appropriate regulations, directed the University 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 retained legal counsel Bond, Schoeneck and King, PLLC, (Bond) and its Collegiate Sports Practice Group to conduct the investigation.  

In a report issued to the Board of Trustees’ Audit Committee on February 6, 2018, 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.

To reach these conclusions, the attorneys gathered and reviewed more than 2,000 documents and other 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. Bond attorneys also used publicly accessible databases and other resources to access relevant information. Bond 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 members of the Audit Committee have 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 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.