Seven student athletes from the W.J. Mouat Secondary senior boys basketball team have been suspended after a recent off-court incident in Alberta.
The suspensions were initially reported at abbynews.com last weekend, and were confirmed by the Abbotsford school district on Monday.
“(The students) have been suspended from the team and school until there are reviews of their actions while on a trip for a tournament in Alberta in early December,” district communications manager Dave Stephen stated.
The Mouat Hawks had attended the Mike Dea Classic tournament hosted by St. Francis Xavier high school in Edmonton, Dec. 5-7.
Details of the incident are not being released by the school district, however, multiple sources have indicated hazing was involved.
Hawks head coach Rich Ralston told The News that the suspensions were due to some “poor decision-making” by the students. He declined to go into the specific nature of what occurred.
The suspended players are important to the success of the Hawks, who are ranked No. 4 provincially in the AAAA tier and were ranked No. 1 last week.
Four of the seven players will be subject to a district board of review and three players will face a school review, all in early January 2014. Until then, the suspensions remain in effect.
“The school and district are taking the situation seriously, but are committed to impartial reviews of the actions of the seven students, with no determination yet as to what the outcomes of those reviews will be,” added Stephen.
Abbotsford Police Const. Ian MacDonald said the department’s youth squad isn’t investigating the matter, but the school liaison officer for Mouat is aware of the circumstances.
“By the time we’re back in school in January, things will be more clear,” Ralston said.
“I think that there will be some guys that come back, but some guys won’t. It’s just the nature of the incident. Very poor decision-making . . . the consequences can be dire if you’re not being smart.”