TMU suspends men’s soccer team, investigating alleged ‘concerning behaviour’

Toronto Metropolitan University has suspended its men's soccer team and is investigating it for "serious and concerning behaviour." Students make their way around the renamed Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) in Toronto, Wednesday, April 26, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Toronto Metropolitan University has suspended its men’s soccer team and is investigating it for what it describes as “serious and concerning behaviour.”

The school issued a statement saying it had received a report about the unspecified conduct and the team would be suspended until “further notice.”

TMU already forfeited two road games.

The team was scheduled to play against Laurentian on Saturday and Nipissing on Sunday.

A spokesperson said the school “cannot confirm any other details, including the nature of the allegations, as an investigation is underway.”

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Among the details that could not be confirmed was a report in the Eyeopener, one of the school’s student newspapers, alleging the behaviour was tied to hazing.

Sam DeFranco works for the student union as a co-ordinator at the Centre for Safer Sex and Sexual Violence Support.

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DeFranco said the allegations  regarding the school’s soccer team are not shocking, and claimed the school lacks policy and training for teams to dissuade incidents from happening and to embolden younger students and new team recruits to stand up for themselves.

“There’s pressure in all groups and there’s power dynamics in all groups, but in sports I think you have a lot of power dynamics you have a lot of those pressures you have a lot of this feeling of ‘Oh I have to listen to these upperclassmen, I have to listen to my coach we are a team and we are bonded they want what’s best for me,’” DeFranco said.

“So it’s really hard in that pressure in that atmosphere to feel like you can say no to things and to feel safe if they don’t have this training if they don’t have those policies, of course incidents like this are going to happen.”

-with files from Global News

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