Saw an AP news story this morning regarding a college cross country team getting suspended over a planned naked run. Planned. As a team. They didnâ€™t even get the event started before Rider University campus police arrived at the track to break up the party. Check out the brief story here:
The part that really seems to be confusing is the reasoning behind the suspension. According to the article:
“University spokeswoman Kristine Brown tells NJ.com ( ) the investigation found no intent to coerce any of the team members to participate. But Brown says the behavior was unacceptable and considered hazing.”
Nobody was coerced…so isnâ€™t that just good old fashioned…naked…bonding? I can see if they want to call it ‘unacceptableâ€™, but hazing? That logic could be applied to just about any post-meet or post-game activity for any collegiate team, if they wanted to. A team-wide flip cup tournament isnâ€™t exactly acceptable either, is it? I doubt thatâ€™s listed in the school charter anywhere as an encouraged activity.
The other part that is confusing is why were they going to run naked around the track? Now, Iâ€™m not experienced in the arts of trotting around au naturel, but isnâ€™t part of it being seen, or at least an enhanced risk of being seen? Otherwise, why not sneak into the gym after hours and do a few naked miles on the treadmill? Just the thought of that will make me wipe down all gym equipment before I use it from now on.
Itâ€™s great that schools will protect their athletes from hazing, but it is possible for them to go too far in trying to do so. Seems like the administration pulled a Goodell on this one. But there could be more to the story too. Maybe the team had been warned about it? Maybe they do too many naked activities together and this was final straw?Â Maybe itâ€™s a tight-knit team and theyâ€™ve recently done naked morning sessions, naked lunch on the quad and, finally, naked guided campus tours for prospective students and their families. In that case, I can see why administration would reach for a reason to enwrap this latest team activity.
What do you think? Good call by the school or did they go too far in suspending the team for itâ€™s own home meet?