The University of Ottawa said Monday it has suspended its men's varsity hockey program over allegations of "serious misconduct" related to a sexual assault investigation in Thunder Bay.

Thunder Bay police said Monday they were investigating a third-party complaint of a sexual assault believed to have occurred on the weekend of Feb. 1, when the University of Ottawa hockey team was in Thunder Bay.

The University of Ottawa Gee Gees played the Lakehead University Thunderwolves in Thunder Bay on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1.

University of Ottawa men's hockey team

The University of Ottawa men's varsity hockey program has been suspended after allegations of 'serious misconduct' came to light last week. (Richard A. Whittaker/University of Ottawa)

Thunder Bay police are only aware of one victim at this time, but spokesman Chris Adams said several players on the team are under investigation. 

Police are proceeding with extra care in interviewing the victim, because someone other than the victim came forward with the complaint, Adams said.

The University of Ottawa said it has launched an internal review of what it called "allegations of serious misconduct" and said it will "co-operate fully" with any police investigation.

Patrick Charette, the university's director of corporate communications, said in a brief statement that although the allegations involving some members of the team date back several weeks, senior management in the university's Sports Services only became aware of them from a third party on Feb. 24.

The university reported the incident to police on Feb. 25.

"The university has high expectations of all our students and staff,"  Charette said. "The alleged misconduct is not in keeping with the values that are at the heart of athletics and student life on campus."

Thunder Bay police said the investigation is still in its early stages and they would not disclose any further details.

Thunder Bay police are asking anyone with information to contact them at 807-684-1200 or Ottawa police's sexual assault unit at 613-236-1222 ext.5944 or Crime Stoppers 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).


  • An earlier version of this story said incorrectly that the alleged assault occurred on the Lakehead University campus. A spokesman for Thunder Bay Police said the alleged incident didn't take place on university property.
    Mar 04, 2014 11:36 AM ET