York College issued the following statement, posted at its official wrestling website: “Effective immediately, York College has placed its Division III intercollegiate wrestling program on interim suspension from all activity due to violations of the Student Code of Conduct and the Student-Athlete Code of Conduct, including hazing. During this interim suspension, an investigation led by the Office of Campus Safety and administrators at the College will continue.
“Individual students who are believed to be in violation of the College's Student Code of Conduct and Student-Athlete Code of Conduct will be scheduled for judicial board hearings in the near future..."
With the suspension, the Spartan wrestling program cannot participate in events, nor conduct practice. The team's trip to King's College for this weekend's Monarch Invitational tournament was canceled.
Mary Dolheimer, York College assistant dean in the office of communications, told the York Daily Record Thursday that the school was alerted to the alleged hazing via “anonymous email that was sent to athletic department representatives, who immediately turned those over to the office of campus security."
"We are looking into incidents that were reported that include physical abuse or physical assault of underclassmen who are members of the wrestling team," according to Dolheimer.
While not disclosing the type of alleged incidents or their number, Dolheimer said the severity of the case "has elevated this particular incident." She added that the school is actively investigating actions reported to have happened from September through October.
Dolheimer also outlined the basic procedures York College is using to investigate the allegations.
"At this point in time, as with any investigation of the student code of conduct, students are informed of their rights. That is a matter of protocol," she said. "That conclusion has not been reached. The focus right now is on the ongoing investigation. At the conclusion, (contacting the police) may be a consideration."
The school is working towards completing its investigation by Friday, Nov. 8, the day before the wrestling team is scheduled to compete at the John Reese Duels, hosted by Wilkes University.
In addition to releasing a public statement, York College contacted students and parents via email about the allegations.
York’s mat program is headed up by Duane Bastress, former Spartan wrestler and assistant coach, whose promotion to head coach was announced in February after long-time coach Tom Kessler revealed his plans to retire at the end of the 2012-13 season.
York College of Pennsylvania is a private, four-year college with 4,600 undergraduate students located in the city of York, in south-central Pennsylvania. Its wrestling program, which competes in the Capital Athletic Conference, was ranked tenth among all Division III programs by the National Wrestling Coaches Association at the end of the 2011-12 season.
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