Northwestern suspends women's soccer team

Updated: May 16, 2006, 4:56 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern University suspended its women's soccer team Monday while the school investigates alleged hazing involving players last year.

The school learned of the allegations Monday, athletics director Mark Murphy said in a statement.

"If the investigation shows that there has been a violation of Northwestern's policies, appropriate sanctions will be imposed and the Athletic Department may take additional action as well,'' Murphy said.

The statement did not provide details about the alleged incident, and a Northwestern spokesman Alan Cubbage said the school would not comment further.

A Web site on Monday displayed pictures allegedly of Northwestern soccer players in T-shirts and underwear, some wearing blindfolds and others with their hands tied behind their backs. Other women had words or pictures scrawled on their bodies and clothes, and it appeared some were drinking alcohol.

"We have confirmed that a majority of these photos are of Northwestern University women's soccer players," Mike Wolf, an NU assistant athletic director, told Chicago-era media.

Northwestern's Division of Student Affairs will conduct the investigation, Murphy said.

"I have asked all Athletic Department staff, team coaches and members of the team to cooperate fully in the investigation by Student Affairs,'' he said.

A message left at the office of women's soccer coach Jenny Haigh on Monday night was not immediately returned.

The Wildcats' 2006 season is scheduled to begin in August. Northwestern finished with a 9-9-1 record last season.