Former NU women’s soccer players respond to allegations

In an e-mail addressed to several local and national media outlets, former members of theNorthwestern women’s soccer team responded to an alleged hazing incident involving players currently in the program.

Sent from the e-mail account of Erin Ekeberg ’01 and co-signed by 34 other former players, the letter denies any annual ritual of hazing in the program and conveys severe disappointment in the recent events that have come forward.

NU Athletic Director Mark Murphy responded to the alleged hazing incident by announcing the indefinite suspension of the entire women’s soccer team, pending a Division of Student Affairs investigation of allegations that hazing took place at a party attended by several team members August 29.

Sixteen photos on show NU women’s soccer players in what appear to be initiation rituals. Players can be seen in their underwear, dressed in costumes, blindfolded with their hands bound by athletic tape, consuming alcohol and performing sexually suggestive acts. There does not appear to be foul play. A copy of the letter from the team alumnae follows:

“As alumnae of the Northwestern women’s soccer program, we are deeply dismayed by the recent allegations that a hazing incident took place within the program. The portrait of the program painted by these charges does not remotely resemble the great tradition of Northwestern women’s soccer that we know. Collectively, we built this program on the foundational values of respect, pride, commitment, and integrity. At no point did we witness, participate in, or otherwise condone the hazing of any of our teammates during our tenures as athletes at Northwestern. Any speculation that there is a tradition of hazing in this program ought to be regarded as utterly unfounded. We remain unequivocally proud of and grateful for our experiences at Northwestern, and we believe that the future of Northwestern women’s soccer will show that these are core values upon which it firmly stands.”

— Staff Reports