CMS Men’s Track Remains Suspended After Alleged Naked Assault, Hazing Activity; Women Reinstated
The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men’s track and field team remains suspended during an ongoing investigation into transgressions committed by team members Saturday night, while the women’s team’s suspension — which was levied along with the men’s Monday — was lifted Thursday evening.
CMS Athletics, Claremont McKenna College, and Harvey Mudd College are continuing to investigate “unsanctioned team activities alleged to be in violation of the CMS Student-Athlete Code of Conduct, the CMS Hazing Policy, and the respective codes of conduct at [CMC] and [HMC]” by the men’s team, CMS athletic director Terrance Tumey wrote in a statement Thursday.
The women’s team was suspended from Monday to Thursday after members of the team participated in “unsanctioned team activities alleged to be in violation of the CMS Student-Athlete Code of Conduct and the CMS Hazing Policy” Saturday as well, Tumey wrote.
Although the women’s teamwide suspension was lifted, specific members of the team may still be punished by the athletic department or their schools.
“CMS Athletics may impose sanctions on individual team members found responsible for violations of policy,” Tumey wrote. “Any sanctions imposed by CMS are independent of potential disciplinary and/or educational consequences that could result from the colleges’ respective conduct processes. These conduct reviews remain in progress.”
According to an email sent to the HMC student body by Dean of Students Jon Jacobsen Wednesday, the investigations into the men’s and women’s teams revolve around multiple alleged conduct violations across the 5Cs.
“This involved groups of students engaging in actions across the campuses such as entering locked buildings and pools after hours, public indecency, theft, and an alleged physical altercation, involving both Campus Safety and the Claremont Police Department,” Jacobsen wrote.
HMC is looking into “a number of reports and self reports from HMC students,” Jacobsen added.
The incidents under investigation were part of separate men’s and women’s teams “scavenger hunt” initiation events, sources familiar with the CMS track teams said.
The purported theft and physical altercation mentioned by Jacobsen is believed to be an incident in which six male athletes — some of them naked — allegedly assaulted a student employee at Pomona College’s Rains Center while stealing a photo off the wall around 9 p.m. Saturday, according to CPD logs and sources told about the episode.
During the incident, the six students entered Rains and removed a photo of a runner from the rival Pomona-Pitzer men’s track team from the wall, CPD logs said. At least one student “held down [the employee] when he [attempted] to stop them,” according to CPD logs.
Campus Safety called the CPD for assistance at 9:15 p.m., according to CPD logs, and CPD is investigating the incident. No arrests have been made so far.
The student who was allegedly assaulted at Rains declined to comment on the incident due to ongoing CPD and Pomona investigations.
"We are supporting our student and we are cooperating with the investigation," Pomona spokesperson Patricia Vest wrote in an email to TSL.
The CPD log also said the students were running naked throughout the 5C campuses, with Campus Safety in pursuit. A separate indecent exposure incident was reported by Campus Safety at 8:32 p.m. near the Kravis Center at CMC, but it is unclear whether the same people were involved.
It is unknown whether the students were apprehended Saturday night. Director of Campus Safety Stan Skipworth wrote in an email to TSL Tuesday that “the information in [a previous version of this story published Monday] contains the information we have at this point. The colleges are continuing their investigation of the incident.”
Another stunt occurred at the International Championship of Collegiate A Capella at Bridges Auditorium during intermission Saturday night, when multiple shirtless students ran onto the stage and were captured on a video obtained by TSL. The incident is believed to be part of the men’s initiation scavenger hunt, according to reports from multiple sources.
Another source familiar with the women's team told TSL that the women’s scavenger hunt tasks included running a naked lap in a dorm at each of the 5Cs and taking a body shot off a random person.
Tumey initially announced the men’s and women’s suspensions Monday during a meeting with the teams, according to multiple sources present at the meeting. Both teams were barred from practicing, competing, or meeting with coaches until further notice. The men’s team remains barred from all team activities, Tumey wrote Thursday.
CMS distance runner coach John Goldhammer declined to comment Monday, but addressed his athletes in an email earlier that day: “You’re free to make choices, BUT you’re not free from the consequences.”
Scripps College spokesperson Karen Bergh could not be reached for comment before press time.
The suspensions came just as the CMS track season had begun. Members of the team competed at the 2018 Tufts Invite Jan. 13, the University of Washington Preview Meet Jan. 13, the Westmont Wake-Up Meet Jan. 27, and an alumni meet Feb. 3.
Both the Stags and Athenas won the SCIAC championship in 2017. The Stags have won the title for the past five seasons, and the Athenas have done so for the past three.
Samuel Breslow contributed reporting.