Lost in the haze

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:33 AM ET

Calgary Stampeders defensive lineman Randy Chevrier, a former McGill Redmen star, defended his school's football program yesterday in the wake of the university's decision to cancel its season over a hazing incident.

Its last two CIS games have been forfeited following an investigation into a complaint launched by an 18-year-old rookie who alleged he was sexually assaulted with a broomstick by a veteran player while others looked on and cheered during a Rookie Night event in August.

"That kind of stuff -- different kinds of initiations -- has been done for years," Chevrier, 29, said after Stamps practice while being careful not to defend the players' actions.

"I know it sounds silly but in a football locker-room, guys are naked all the time, doing all kinds of silly stuff ... I hope it doesn't affect their football program in the future."

Hazing has also made hockey headlines recently with the lengthy suspension to the OHL Windsor Spitfires head coach/GM Moe Mantha.

Four rookies were crammed naked into the bathroom on the team bus while travelling back from a pre-season game last month.

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Darcy Tucker said yesterday Mantha's punishment didn't fit the crime.

"Things happen at the back of the bus the coach never knows about," said Tucker, adding he's all for hazing providing it doesn't go too far.

"It's part of being a rookie," Tucker said.

"There are some things that are off-limits, that's the way it should be. Putting a few guys in the washroom, I find it actually quite amusing."

Phoenix Coyotes head coach Wayne Gretzky disagrees with Tucker.

"There's no room for it," he said. "It's the most ridiculous thing in sports. It's hard enough for a young guy to go into a locker-room."

Meanwhile, Chevrier -- who played four seasons (1996-99) at McGill before graduating with a degree in physical education -- hopes the school will be able to move on from this incident.

"If I had not gone to McGill, I probably wouldn't be where I am in my life and I know a lot of the people who are there are some of the most upstanding people you'll ever meet," he said.


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