Task force report critical of Boston University, ‘sexual entitlement’ of hockey team
Among some players on the Boston University men’s ice hockey team exists “a culture of sexual entitlement,” according to a report released today by a university task force.
The “Report of the Men’s Ice Hockey Task Force” released today was critical of both the social culture of the hockey team, but also the oversight by the university.
“Our conclusion is that there are a number of important structures and processes that are failing to achieve the full level and quality of oversight of the men’s ice hockey program that is expected and appropriate at a major university,” the task force wrote in its report.
It also found that “a culture of sexual entitlement exists among some players on the men’s ice hockey team, stemming in part from their elevated social status on campus.”
The report comes from a task force formed earlier this year by BU President Robert Brown after two hockey players were charged with sexual assault in separate incidents.
Corey Trivino pleaded guilty last month to groping a resident adviser in a dorm room. A charge of assault with attempt to rape was eventually dropped.
Another hockey player was accused of sexual assault earlier this year, but prosecutors later dropped those charges after a lack of evidence.
Twenty people, mostly BU officials, faculty and staff members comprised the task force. Members reviewed data, athletic rules and regulations, interviewed current and former players and coaches and held open forums to gather input to form the report.
“This culture of sexual entitlement, as evidenced by frequent sexual encounters with women absent an emotional relationship or on-going commitment, can also involve unprotected sex,” according to the report. “This culture is actively supported by a small subset of BU’s undergraduate population. The absence of systematic processes for sexual assault prevention training for members of the men’s ice hockey team, and for BU students more broadly, contributes to behaviors that place many University students at risk.”
Some of the reasons for the culture that the report cited included an academic performance by many, but not all, of the players that falls below that of the undergraduate student body as a whole and players being “insulated” from the larger BU undergraduate population.
The report also cited the talent being recruited to the team and a lack of engagement and interest in academics and extra-curricular activities by players who have already been drafted by NHL teams.
The report included 14 recommendations including the establishment of an office that provides care and counseling for victims of sexual assault, annual sexual assault prevention training for men’s ice hockey players and barring student athelets from enrolling in BU’s Metropolitan College, the school’s continuing education program.