Hazing, College Sports

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In an August 2000 study funded by New York’s Alfred University, 79 percent of college athletes surveyed in the United States have been subjected to hazing. The same study shows that only 12 per cent of athletes think what they went through is hazing. (Keller) The growing epidemic of hazing rituals on the college campus begs the question: Should hazing be allowed on college sports teams? Hazing is a vital part of forming a close-knit unit whether it is for college athletics or even professional athletics. Performing a hazing ritual, as long as it is supervised, should be allowed when initiating rookies into a college athletic team. There should be specific rituals that are allowed, such as rookies having to carry the senior’s bags. These rituals should be approved by the administration and overseen by the coaches.

When a student signs up to be on a college athletic team, he or she does not sign a contract stating that he or she is willing to go through embarrassing and humiliating circumstances in order to be on said team. However, when hazing rituals occur there is not a person holding a gun to his or her head or forcing him or her to go through with it. This lack of force shows consent on the part of perspective players. Ichiro Suzuki stated that when he and three others went through an initiation ritual where he was told to wear a hooters outfit for a day, he got such a kick out of it he actually wore it home to see his wife. (Keller) Though some may say it’s not fair to those who do not wish to be subjected to hazing, a player must be willing to sacrifice for his or her team. Hazing should be overseen by the coach and therefore closely monitored to keep it from getting out of hand.

On a sports team there is a necessary hierarchy among the players and hazing helps to promote this. When rookies are hazed, they learn their place at the bottom of the rung. They also learn that those doing the hazing, namely the seniors of the team, are their...
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