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University of Iowa News Release           

June 2, 2006

Baseball Team Incident Did Not Involve Hazing, UI Investigation Concludes

University of Iowa freshmen baseball players pictured in a photograph posted on an on-line student directory were not forced to take part in the activity depicted in the photograph, UI officials said today.

The activity, which involved freshmen players singing the "Iowa Fight Song" while nude, was brought to the UI's attention when a local newspaper was alerted to on-line photos that showed five young men standing naked with baseball caps covering their genitals. A caption for one photo suggested that the men were freshmen UI baseball players undergoing "initiation." UI officials confirmed that all of the men in the photo were freshmen members of the baseball team.

After learning of the photograph May 18, UI President David Skorton asked officials in the Athletics Department to investigate. Baseball team members and coaches were interviewed Monday, May 22, by Fred Mims, associate athletics director for student services and compliance, and Professor Elizabeth Altmaier, who is UI faculty representative to the Big Ten Conference and the NCAA. Later, two separate meetings were held; Altmaier interviewed freshmen members of the team at one meeting while Mims interviewed older members of the team at the other. Coaches did not participate in those meetings.

"Based on our interviews, we are satisfied that this incident did not involve hazing," Altmaier and Mims told Skorton. "However, these student-athletes showed bad judgment by participating in an activity that clearly falls short of our expectation that student-athletes conduct themselves on and off the playing fields with the highest levels of integrity and dignity."

"We would have preferred that this did not happen," Skorton said, "but it can be a learning experience not only for the members of the baseball team, but also for all of our student-athletes and coaches. I appreciate that Professor Altmaier and Fred Mims investigated this thoroughly and expeditiously. I now consider this matter to be closed."

STORY SOURCE: University Relations, 101 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, Iowa 52242.

CONTACT(S): Steve Parrott, 319-335-0552, steven-parrott@uiowa.edu. Writer: Steve Parrott.