ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Just days before the UNM women’s soccer season opener, a shadow hangs over the Lobos team after the university announced they are investigating a potential hazing incident. The alleged hazing happened over the weekend.
KRQE News 13 talked with students who said the UNM women’s soccer team is known for their annual initiation parties for freshmen players and that this year’s party was held Sunday night.
“It’s kind of weird that somebody found out about it,” said UNM senior Adeline Gomez. “I feel like it’s something that the soccer team, if it was happening, would try to keep secret and not get out there in the public.”
A spokesperson for the athletic department said someone outside of the athletics program is investigating, and interviewing players about what happened.
UNM hasn’t mentioned any specific players that may have been involved.
“We are very early in the process of this and do not have all the facts at this time,” said Frank Mercogliano, UNM Athletic Department spokesperson. “This is a situation that we take very seriously, and will do everything in our power to get answers to what occurred.”
The women’s team was in Tucson Saturday night, playing an exhibition game against the Arizona Wildcats. The UNM Women’s Soccer team’s season opener is this Friday at Texas Tech.
At Monday night’s men’s soccer game, soccer fans reacted to the news.
“It’s not good for them, it’s a bad look. But media – good media, bad media – they’re relevant,” said Johnnie Gaines.
“It’s the one sport we are recognized and respected in,” said UNM senior Hannah Terseic. “It’s really, really disappointing.”
KRQE News 13 also spoke to a former UNM soccer player who said the team does an annual initiation for freshmen, but says she remembers it being a “fun” event, not something that crossed the line into hazing.
Mercogliano said they expect to provide updates to the investigation on Wednesday.