SLU Investigation Clears Men's Hockey Program

SLU Investigation Clears Men's Hockey Program

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St. Lawrence University's men's hockey program has been cleared of wrongdoing by a law firm the university hired.

The university announced in early December that it was launching an investigation into "potential violations of NCAA rules or institutional policies in the men’s ice hockey program."

In a statement Wednesday night, the university said investigators reported:

- the evidence did not support allegations that there was an unsafe environment for student-athletes

- there was  no evidence of financial aid improprieties

- in one instance there was evidence that a student-athlete was offended by coaching staff language

- on one Sunday last fall, members of the team were required to watch post-game videos, constituting  a minor violation of limits on NCAA countable athletically related activities. 

The university statement Wednesday night did not mention men's coach Mark Morris by name, though 7 News reported in December that the investigation appeared to center on Morris.

The university statement Wednesday night disclosed some details about the investigation:

"To reach these conclusions, the attorneys gathered and reviewed more than 2,000 documents and other information from persons with first-hand knowledge of the men’s ice hockey program, including relevant documents provided by the University and its athletics department. 

"They included medical records, financial aid records, individual personnel files, NCAA required monitoring records, emails, and other compliance resource materials. Bond attorneys also used publicly accessible databases and other resources to access relevant information. 

"Bond conducted more than 55 recorded interviews, most of which were in person and a few by telephone, of current and former student-athletes, student managers and trainers, institutional staff members, assistant and head coaches, and outside individuals with varying degrees of association with the program."

The investigation was done by the law firm of Bond, Schoeneck and King, which was hired by the university to do what university officials described as an independent investigation.

The university's board of trustees audit committee is recommending no additional action be taken, other than reporting the one NCAA violation found by the lawyers. The university said it would have no further comment.

The hockey team is 6-20-2 this year.

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