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The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) has announced disciplinary measures against the Creston Valley Thunder Cats organization following an investigation into allegations of hazing.
The KIJHL announced that they have investigated allegations that they were notified of just last week and immediately suspended all team activities until they could gather more information. Today, the league announced some pretty serious sanctions against the team and its players.
From the KIJHL:
As a result of the KIJHL’s investigation, the following disciplinary measures have been taken:
- The Creston Valley Thunder Cats organization has received a fine and placed on probation for a period of two years. During this time, the Thunder Cats must take proactive steps to ensure a positive team culture free from abuse, bullying and harassment. Any occurrence of a similar incident will result in further sanctions.
- Members of the Creston Valley Thunder Cats will be required to complete training designed to identify and eliminate instances of abuse, bullying and harassment.
- Thunder Cats team captain Clayton Brown has been suspended for 12 games, effective Sept. 16, for violations of the league’s Individual Conduct Policy.
- Thunder Cats alternate captain Campbell McLean has been suspended for 6 games, effective Sept. 16, for violations of the league’s Individual Conduct Policy.
“The KIJHL is committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment for our athletes, volunteers, staff and fans,” says Commissioner Jeff Dubois. “What occurred in Creston was unacceptable, and the discipline imposed against the Thunder Cats’ organization and members of the team reflect our zero-tolerance approach to these types of incidents.”
“Our investigation made clear that we have considerable work to do in order to educate our players on the standard of behaviour and leadership expected of them in a team environment. We take this responsibility seriously, and we are taking immediate steps to address this issue.”
The KIJHL also announced that they will not elaborate further on the investigation and will not comment further on the sanctions against the Thunder Cats.
While these sanctions may seem harsh to some old school hockey traditionalists, I firmly believe that hazing needs to be taken more seriously and sanctions like this will go a long way towards preventing hazing in the future.