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2014-06-25 at 16:05

Out for a season

By Leith Dunick,
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The University of Ottawa’s men’s hockey team will not take the ice in 2014-15, the result of an ongoing sexual assault investigation surrounding an incident that allegedly took place in Thunder Bay last February.

University of Ottawa president Allan Rock, the country’s former justice minister, made the announcement on Wednesday, after the school conducted an internal investigation.

The decision also cost hockey coach Real Paiement his job. Paiement had been suspended with pay following the allegations against an undetermined number of Ottawa players, subject of an investigation by Thunder Bay police.

“For the coming season, there will be no men’s hockey,” Rock told reporters at an on-campus news conference in Ottawa.

“Next season will not happen.”

Rock refused to name players or publicly state how many players were involved.

“The university is not in a position to name names,” Rock said. “That would be unfair.”

At the time of the incident a third-party came forward with a complaint, which police in Thunder Bay took seriously.

“It’s an allegation of a sexual assault, which occurred sometime on the weekend of Feb. 1. This weekend coincides with the weekend the Ottawa hockey team, from the University of Ottawa was in town playing (the Lakehead Thunderwolves),” police spokesman Chris Adams said at the time.

Adams said Wednesday the local police investigation has concluded, is being reviewed and “we anticipate issuing a media release regarding the outcome within the next few weeks.”

Rock said even though criminal charges haven’t been laid, he felt it was in the best interest of the school and the program to act swiftly and decisively.

“The police will deal with their responsibilities as they see fit. We don’t know what’s going to happen with the police inquiry,” Rock stated, saying it’s not up to the university to determine guilt or innocence.

Less clear is the future of the players.

Rock said the school has to make changes in the program, and while they could put them in place by September, he’d rather wait until 2015-16 at the earliest to make a clean break.

As of Wednesday the team’s roster included 25 players eligible to return in the fall, all of whom will likely be free to seek other places to play.

Asked about their futures, Rock had little to say.

“That’s up to every player to decide, he said. “They can do as they like.”

The Ottawa Citizen reports several Gee-Gees players and their parents are considering a lawsuit for defaming, punishing and even ending the careers of several players. 

The Gee-Gees and Lakehead Thunderwolves are not scheduled to play in 2014-15.

The OUA has released a men’s hockey schedule for next season that includes Ottawa’s participation, but notes that the team was under an internal suspension and their status for the upcoming season had not yet been confirmed.

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S Duncan says:
Where ever Allan Rock is there is a problem. Its too bad its not him whos "out" for awhile.
6/25/2014 6:05:01 PM
Gord says:
Two things - I hope they get to the bottom of the event
Second thing- this is a crazy over-reaction

Nobody in administration even knows what happened yet and they suspend the whole program. Flat out stupid.
6/25/2014 6:39:23 PM
Tachyion says:
Nice dye job Allen. What's with all these old guys and their phony hair. This guy interviewed Lennon and Ono as a reporter in the late sixties in Montreal. They must have sold him something special to keep the grey wait a's MIRACLE.
6/25/2014 10:36:26 PM
smartguy83 says:
You are basing the "overreaction" on what? This happens fairly frequently in the USA for collegiate sports, as it should. Sports are a luxury, not a right.

Without knowing the details it is totally wrong to judge. There is a reason why the program was axed, and Ottawa is in a position to know this reason.
6/26/2014 10:28:45 AM
ring of fire dude says:
Maybe Aldo knows .
6/26/2014 3:51:00 PM
dynamiter says:
Just seeing this guy's picture makes me kind of ill all over again. All the money spent in the Liberal's Long gun registry and all the fight getting rid of it.
6/25/2014 11:07:45 PM
Jeannied says:
Love how you take a story about members of a university hockey team alleged to have committed sexual assault in Thunder Bay and turn it into a self serving post about "Liberals" and gun registry?
That is truly disgusting.
6/26/2014 10:22:57 AM
dynamiter says:
This man single-handedly caused a whole bunch of problems and issues and money amongst innocent law abiding gun owners. Do you think that a whole bunch of people in this country dont remember that - hence their response. Now he shows up once again as a front man for an over- reach and once again brands a bunch of innocent individuals as criminals and is going to cost these individuals and the University a whole bunch of money. Look - some members of the team were involve and they should be punished. Some members of the team including the coaching staff, and the team's administration were not forthcoming and helpful in the investigation and in reporting this issue and they should be punished. But many members of this team including those who support the team back in Ottawa - were not involved and they are being punished and some are even being branded as rapist and that is wrong and Rock is wrong in supporting this. And your comment to me I find disgusting.
6/27/2014 10:32:57 PM
BuddhaMum says:
Over-reaction? Making fun of a hair dye job? Seriously? This is an alleged SEXUAL ASSAULT case and you are commenting in such ways?
This is the reason many sexual assaults go unreported. No one takes them seriously and the victims are told they are over-reacting.
Rather than focusing on a human being who was assaulted everyone is up in arms over the hockey players. Yes, I understand some of the team members are innocent and I truly feel badly for them. However, until men hold one another responsible for their actions, I feel this is a sound decision made by the University.
I am quite certain Allen did not make this decision on his own. But, because he is the face of the announcement, he is being painted as the bad guy who is ruining hockey season and the careers of the Gee-Gee players.
What about the girl who was allegedly assaulted? Who is shouting from the mountain tops in her defense?
I agree with making an example of the team and if my son were a Gee-Gee, him as well.
6/26/2014 8:42:35 AM
druidinthemist says:
you would think such an investigation would have taken weeks or months. but to drag it out over a year and cancel a sports program over the criminal actions of a very few is just wrong. how many young men were looking forward to playing hockey in ottawa and now their dreams are gone or delayed.
6/26/2014 8:51:30 AM
TBAY Opinion says:
The President of the University of Ottawa did the right thing.
6/26/2014 10:27:06 AM
Tannoy says:
Its a perfect reaction that sends the message to these kids that just because they play hockey they cant go around doing whatever they want. Shame it ruins it for the entire team but not everyone who was directly involved was innocent im sure.
6/26/2014 11:40:51 AM
yqt says:
From CBC: "We know enough to say that what happened there was unacceptable so we're shutting down the program,......" (President Allan Rock)

Obviously, the "alleged" assault, is more than just alleged to have happened.
6/26/2014 11:47:20 AM
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