Franklin & Marshall coach dismissed
Hazing complaints lead to firing, upperclassmen suspensions
LANCASTER, Pa. -- Franklin & Marshall College fired its national championship-winning women's lacrosse coach and suspended upperclassmen players following a complaint of a hazing incident last year, school officials said.
Vice president of communications Cass Cliatt told The Associated Press on Wednesday the school fired head coach Lauren Paul on Tuesday and suspended the players after confirming details of the hazing.
"Coaches at F&M are educators," Cliatt said. "F&M expects all coaches to be responsible for maintaining a supportive environment and an atmosphere of trust consistent with the educational goals of the institution, and to serve as guardians over the health and well-being of their players."
A phone listing for Paul could not immediately be located Wednesday.
Cliatt would not release details of the alleged hazing or the names of the players suspended, citing privacy rules. The suspended players remain enrolled at the school.
The Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era reported 11 players are no longer listed on the roster, including eight of nine seniors and seven of the team's top-10 scorers.
Cliatt said the hazing was reported anonymously to Lancaster police in February and that school officials also received reports. After preliminary inquiries, a formal investigation began April 10, according to a letter sent to the college community by Dean Kent Trachte.
"F&M takes any allegation of hazing very seriously and has strong and clear policies against any form of hazing as part of our deep commitment to safeguarding student health, safety and well-being," Trachte wrote.
Lancaster police Lt. Todd Umstead said there is no criminal investigation into the matter.
The Lancaster County district attorney's office did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment.
Paul, a 2003 F&M grad, led the Diplomats to the 2009 Division III national championship in her first season as head coach. The team made it to the national semifinals the following year and the national quarterfinals last season.
The school's field hockey coach is taking the helm as interim coach and the team will finish the season, school officials said.