Colleges are constantly in a battle with fraternities, sororities and sports teams and clubs over hazing its members, and many are forced to face the reality that sometimes these actions end in serious injury, or in some cases, death. According to a University of Maine study, more than half of college students involved in clubs, teams, and organizations experience hazing. This would explain why we hear about it more often than we should.
It's nearly impossible to believe that coaches are not aware of what these students are doing. The UMaine study says hazing has a public aspect, with 25 percent of coaches or organization advisors aware of a group’s hazing behaviors; 25 percent of the behaviors occurring on campus in a public space; in 25 percent of hazing experiences, alumni were present; and students talk with peers or family (26 percent) about their hazing experiences.
As of this week, the NFL has not yet sent any memos regarding the banning of hazing or guidelines for handling incidents. In Bill Belichick's weekly visit with WEEI's Salk and Holley, he weighed in on his feelings on hazing. Honestly, I'm not sure I've ever heard Belichick talk this in depth about any subject... ever. To read the whole conversation, click here. The whole discussion was interesting coming from the view of a very successful coach, but this comment really struck me as a really great synopsis of the whole situation.
"We’re all grown men. We’re all adults. It’s really about relationships, and if the relationship is not working, then somehow it’s up to the people involved in that relationship to either fix it or resolve it or terminate it, whatever it happens to be."No one should have to live under the fear of hazing. Sure, sometimes there's a rite of passage to becoming part of a team. That rite should not involve violence, extortion or abusive or threatening words.