New Jersey university cross-country team suspended over naked run plan
Rider University suspended its entire men's cross-country team from a meet because the school concluded the runners were planning a naked run that amounted to hazing.
University police responded to a report of students at the school's track on the evening of Sept. 5 and found team members preparing to run laps naked, according to Rider. They also found alcohol.
The officers halted the naked run, and the school launched an investigation into all 28 members of the men's team. Officials found that there wasn't any intent to coerce any team member to participate, but the behavior was still deemed to be hazing, university spokeswoman Kristine Brown told NJ.com.
''Although no ill intent or coercion was involved, the team's behavior was unacceptable and is indeed considered hazing,'' Brown said.
Some students were charged with university alcohol violations and hazing and had their cases processed through the university's Office of Community Standards, Brown said. It's unclear how many students were charged with violating Rider's internal rules.
The coach canceled practice and the team was suspended from competing in a Rider-hosted meet on Sept. 19. The coach and athletic director have since met with the team to ''educate them on why their actions were inappropriate,'' Brown said.
The Lawrence police department wasn't notified.