Watertown Daily Times | St. Lawrence University president announces investigation into hockey program

CANTON — St. Lawrence University President William L. Fox sent an email to the campus community Tuesday alerting them to an independent investigation into possible violations of NCAA rules and institutional policies by the men’s hockey program.

In the email, Mr. Fox said that the University Board of Trustees had directed the investigation, which will be conducted by the Collegiate Sports Practice Group of the law firm Bond, Schoeneck and King, PLLC, a law firm from Syracuse with offices across the state. The investigation will be led by Rick Evrard, a senior member of the firm.

According to his profile in the firm’s website, Mr. Evrard is former NCAA enforcement representative, and later served as director of legislative services for NCAA. His clients have included Rutgers University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and University of California at Los Angeles, as well as several SUNY schools.

The email from Mr. Fox does not detail the alleged violations being investigated. An article posted on College Hockey News, an online news site, says they have sources that allege St. Lawrence Head Coach Mark Morris violated NCAA rules on the length and frequency of practices and video sessions, as well as abusing players and making them play while injured.

“The University’s top priority is to protect the health and welfare of our students,” Mr. Fox wrote. “The Board’s Chair and Audit Committee chair will receive a full report of the facts and will recommend appropriate action if needed.”

Ryan P. Deuel, director of media relations and strategic communications for the University, said he could not provide any more information about how long the investigation had been planned or how long it might take. He also declined to comment about what the alleged violations might be, although he did say the team’s game schedule would go forward without disruption and that Mr. Morris would continue actively coaching the team.

“It’s going to be a normal game weekend, except for the fact that we’re playing Clarkson,” Mr. Deuel said.

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