Calling a Timeout on Hazing in College Athletics
A quick search on Google for “Recent Hazing Incidents” reveals a disturbing and ongoing trend of hazing incidents occurring within the realms of Fraternity/Sorority Life and College athletic teams. These incidents have garnered considerable attention due to their disturbing nature and the grave consequences they entail. Most recently, there has been a series of news stories spotlighting hazing incidents within the realm of college athletics.
In July of 2023, Northwestern football player filed a lawsuit against the school Monday, accusing it of negligence while providing the most detailed account to date of the alleged hazing that occurred within the football program. The reports from Northwestern University resulted in head coach being fired and several lawsuits.
Since the start of the Fall 2023 season we have already seen numerous reports. University of San Diego suspending over half of the players on their football team, Bowling Green State suspending their coach and three players for alleged off-campus hazing. Then just this last week, Boston College suspends swimming and diving program indefinitely for hazing.
These incidents have received significant media coverage, drawing widespread attention to the pressing issue of hazing in college sports. College athletic teams are known for fostering teamwork, discipline, and the pursuit of excellence on the field. However, in recent years, a darker aspect of college sports has come to the forefront as numerous cases of hazing have been exposed within these teams. The surge in hazing cases within the realm of college athletics underscores the critical need for heightened awareness, rigorous prevention measures, and swift intervention to tackle this deeply entrenched issue.
Colleges and universities have not been idle in the face of this issue. They have launched awareness campaigns and educational programs designed to enlighten student-athletes about the perils of hazing and the importance of creating safe and respectful environments within athletic teams. One of those educational programs that is designed specifically for athletic groups is Travis Apgar’s Marking A Champion.
Travis Apgar’s program Making A Champion talks about how to eliminate hazing in athletics.
Making a Champion
As a first-generation student, Travis went to college full of excitement and curiosity. The opportunity to attend college came as a result of his abilities as an athlete. When pre-season camp opened, the hazing began. Those meaningless, abusive, activities which stemmed from unhealthy power dynamics and misguided intentions resulted in a detrimental impact on the team, and teammates.
Travis left that college, and had to work especially hard to overcome the setback. His keynote, Making a Champion focuses on important factors that distinguish champions and championship teams from those who fall short, and how hazing is inconsistent with the qualities of a winning team, the virtuous attributes of participating in sports, and the ability for people to thrive.