As students on Vanderbilt University campus went about their business Wednesday, word spread of two separate hazing incidents involving the women's soccer team and the women's tennis team.
“All of the women, with the exception of one, admitted to what had gone on,” said the Nashville school's athletic director and vice-chancellor David Williams.
Williams did not say specifically what went on with the two teams.
“What they didn't realize was that it was hazing, they thought it was team-building, a team initiation,” Williams explained.
He said the hazing harmed no one, nor was it hazing at its worst, which can include beatings.
“It had nothing to do with any of that, but anytime you basically require a group of people to do something that very well could humiliate or could make them feel uncomfortable, or something they don't really want to do, you could rise the level of hazing,” Williams said.
The athletic director said the hazing initiation for one of the teams has gone on for years, while the other team had just started this fall.
Officials said both incidents occurred since the start of school this year.
“When we talked to the young ladies they were all very apologetic, they did not realize they had engaged in hazing,” Williams continued.
As a penalty, both teams will not play in one upcoming match.
Williams said the two coaches were unaware of the hazings, but he said he hopes the players will now ask the school what is, and what is not hazing.
“If you can't tell your coach about it, and its supposed to be team building, how much team building can it be?” asked the athletic director.
Officials added the coaches of the two teams involved may impose further penalties.