STU athletic director responds to rugby suspension

The St. Thomas University rugby team was suspended for a game after a party involving underage drinking.

Athletic Director Mike Eagles says rugby team must make presentation to administration

The athletics director for St. Thomas University says he wants members of the suspended rugby team to understand the significance of their conduct.

The team has been suspended following a drinking party and forfeited Saturday's game with U.P.E.I. The game was to be the first road trip of the short rugby season for the Tommies.

The trip was cancelled after the school's athletic director, Mike Eagles, and other school officials got wind of an off-campus party with drinking games in which underage players were supplied with alcohol.

"It's not right and we don't want situations where people might feel obliged to take part in drinking games," said Eagles.

Such events are especially sensitive at St. Thomas University. Two years ago a rookie volleyball player died in a fall after taking part in a drinking party involving his team.

Students at the school seemed a bit surprised by the ruling.

"It seems like maybe a bit of an over-punishment," said Caitlin Sowers. "The entire team being prohibited to play, I think that it was taking the point a bit too far."

"I do think it's a little drastic," said Allie Dukuze. "But at the same time, I do think there should be a punishment for the fact, like underage drinking definitely can't be allowed to happen."

Eagles said in addition to the suspension, the team must make a presentation to university administrators.

"It's easy sometimes to say 'I learned a lesson,'" said Eagles. "But really, when you present it do you show whether you mean it or not. So we really want them to show what they've learned through this."

Fredericton city police say this is not a police matter and they are not investigating.