ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The University of New Mexico wrapped up a news conference on the hazing scandal that has the women’s soccer team in big trouble Wednesday.
The athletic director tried to clear the air by finally providing details on what happened Sunday night that had the school cancelling the team’s opener.
“We failed the young women in this program, that they didn’t understand and they didn’t know better that what happened was simply wrong, uncalled for and inappropriate,” said Athletic Director Paul Krebs.
Despite other media reports, Krebs says there was no nudity or urine sprayed on the girls but what actually happened wasn’t much better.
The liquid sprayed on the women may have been window cleaner and at one point, the girls were in their underwear.
The athletics department said the entire team was involved and the incoming freshmen players were the targets.
“They made a mistake they’ve damaged their own reputations,” Krebs said.
Krebs says it all unfolded during a night of excessive drinking on Sunday. He says the team hopped from one off-campus party to another that night. While Krebs says no one was forced to drink the liquor, he says there was pressure to drink and that constitutes hazing.
Just before midnight, UNM police were called to the dorms because one of the freshman players was so drunk she was having a hard time breathing, another was vomiting.
The two freshmen were sent to the hospital, all freshmen said they had been part of an initiation event. By the next morning, two had quit the team and left the school.
Up until now, athletes only had to sign a form saying they wouldn’t participate in hazing.
Krebs says that going forward, the athletic department will place more of a focus on anti-hazing education.
For now, the soccer players will be doing community service instead of two practices during the next two weeks.
The school has cancelled the UNM women’s soccer season opener.
Krebs says more sanctions are on the way.