Morris Remains SLU Hockey Coach As Investigation Is LaunchedPosted: Updated:
Mark Morris is still head coach of St. Lawrence University's men's hockey team and will be coaching Friday's night's game against long-time rival Clarkson University.
That's from a university spokesperson following the announcement Tuesday that SLU has hired a law firm to investigate allegations that its Division I men's ice hockey program violated NCAA rules.
The university has not released details of the allegations, but the investigation appears to center on Morris.
College Hockey News, a website that covers college hockey, cites sources who say potential NCAA violations "are based upon charges that Morris ran practices and video sessions longer than proscribed NCAA-allowed times and more than the allowed days per week."
More seriously, both College Hockey News and social media say Morris is being accused of mistreating players. So far, Morris has made no public statements.
St. Lawrence President William Fox announced the investigation in a statement Tuesday to "review certain allegations received through email and social media relating to potential violations of NCAA rules or institutional policies in the men’s ice hockey program."
Morris has been SLU's hockey coach since 2016. He was an assistant coach there from 1985 to 1988, when he became head coach at rival Clarkson University.
Morris was fired from Clarkson following a on-ice incident with a Clarkson player in November 2002. He was the most successful coach in the university's history.
SLU has a 1-12 record so far this season.
The administrator of the St. Lawrence Hockey Fans Facebook page publicly commended Fox and the SLU board for announcing the investigation.
Bruce Carlisle posted the following:
"There have been serious and credible allegations about the program, notwithstanding the litigation in this forum. These allegations need to be investigated to preserve the long term reputation and integrity of the St. Lawrence hockey program. Period.
IMO, this is neither a witch hunt nor is it a white wash.
I believe this is exactly the right course of action by the SLU administration. Whatever the result, and notwithstanding any short term hit, I firmly believe that the hockey program will benefit and emerge from this stronger than ever. If the results of the investigation determine that there is nothing in need of correction, you may return here to read my public mea culpa.
While I understand the concern that the University's general law firm has been hired, my understanding is that this firm has a specialty practice in college athletics that should serve the investigation well. They have their own reputation to protect. I give them the benefit of the doubt.
I'd also add for the benefit of any future D1 college hockey players who might be reading this that if you are looking for an outstanding liberal arts college with a tremendous D1 hockey tradition that has produced recent Stanley Cup winners and plays in a unique, historic building you could not do any better than to take a look at St. Lawrence University."