Catholic U., Quinnipiac to investigate alleged hazing

Updated: May 19, 2006, 11:59 AM ET news services

Catholic University in Washington and Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn., are investigating sports teams after photographs allegedly depicting student-athletes taking part in initiation parties were posted on a Web site.

The Web site on Wednesday posted those pictures and others, allegedly of athletic teams at 12 colleges and universities, showing hazing or initiation rituals from 2003-06. It labeled them the "Dirty Dozen."

Earlier this week, Northwestern suspended its women's soccer team after the Web site displayed pictures of alleged hazing at a party.

Catholic is investigating its women's lacrosse program after photos were posted on the Internet allegedly showing a male stripper at a freshman initiation party. And Quinnipiac is looking into photos allegedly taken during an "initiation party" for members of the school's baseball team depicting men dancing around in underwear and adult diapers and spraying whipped cream on a woman who is lying on the floor.

"If the evidence demonstrates that any of our current students willingly participated in these activities, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken," Catholic athletic director Michael Allen said in a statement.

Allen said that neither he nor coach Kristine Manning was aware of the party until Wednesday morning. He said an investigation began immediately.

"The president and I will meet with all the coaches at the university to discuss additional measures and policies that we can implement to ensure that in the future this kind of deplorable situation does not occur with any of the students at The Catholic University of America," the statement said.

The photos were posted on a Web site under the heading "Catholic University Women's Lacrosse Initiation Party 2006." The site doesn't say when or where the party was held.

At Quinnipiac, spokesman John Morgan said the pictures did not make it clear that members of the baseball team were involved.

"We've seen some pictures that have come to our attention, but it's not clear to us that our baseball players are involved in anything that raises concerns," Morgan said. "We're looking into it."

Quinnipiac has an anti-hazing policy that prohibits "any action taken or situation, on or off campus, intended to create mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, ridicule or possible mental or physical injury."

The policy also bans paddling; covering a person with things like water, paint or food; forcing any members to drink alcoholic beverages or use illegal substances; depriving people of sleep; unplanned road trips or kidnappings; assigning "pranks," such as stealing, painting objects, panty raids or harassing another organization; or any physical or psychological shock to a student.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.