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University suspends team after tragedy

St. Thomas University in New Brunswick has suspended its men’s volleyball team for the rest of the school year after concluding it organized a hazing party attended by a team member who later died.

St. Thomas University in New Brunswick has suspended its men’s volleyball team for the rest of the school year after concluding it organized a hazing party attended by a team member who later died.

Andrew Jason Bartlett was found dead in a Fredericton apartment in October after going to a party with teammates. Police said criminal activity did not lead to the 21-year-old man’s death but that alcohol was a contributing factor in an accidental fall that killed him.

The university launched its own investigation after rumours surfaced that an initiation party had been held.

University president Dennis Cochrane said the review, carried out by registrar Larry Batt and athletics director Mike Eagles, shows that team members made a collective decision to buy alcohol and that rookie players such as Bartlett were required to pay more than the veteran members of the team.

Cochrane said a party involving drinking games began on-campus before migrating off-campus, but added there was no evidence that anyone was forced to drink.

“In no way does this indicate that the volleyball team players are responsible for Andrew Bartlett’s death,” he said.

 
 
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