Volume 92, Issue 29

Tuesday, October 27, 1998

purple haze


Admin throw flag on Mustangs

By Sabrina Carinci
Gazette Staff

Mustang football head coach Larry Haylor has voluntarily withdrawn from the remainder of the regular football season but will return to coaching for the playoffs.

This was one of six sanctions, including a two-year probation, implemented by Western's intercollegiate athletics and football programs in an attempt to reprimand members of the football team for violating university codes of conduct, said Darwin Semotiuk, chair of intercollegiate athletics.

Semotiuk would not comment on whether the sanctions were based upon the Oct. 2 hit and run incident at J.W. Little Stadium, where first-year football player Preston Haynes allegedly struck first-year engineer Ian Munroe. He, however, did say the sanctions were based upon the violated codes of conduct which prohibit any activity that may "produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment or ridicule."

Haylor said his decision to step down was to relay a message that violations of codes of conduct are serious. "I'm the head football coach and I have the ultimate responsibility for the football team – leadership is doing the right thing," he said.

Haylor added the expectations of football players are very high. "I'm really proud of the fact that 99.9 per cent of the time those expectations are met," he said.

Although having completed his investigation on the hit and run incident, Peter Mercer, VP-administration at Western, was also hesitant to comment upon whether the sanctions were based solely on the Oct. 2 incident. "We're concerned that an incident occurred – it was prankish behaviour," he said.

Mercer did, however, say there is a certain degree of tradition in football which is cause for concern, regarding the circumstances around which the incident involving Haynes occurred. "A culture has been embedded," he said.

Haylor admitted the problems on the football team stem further than the Haynes issue but felt it would be inappropriate to comment. "In fairness – I think it's important that we don't deal with [this]," he said.

Ian Armour, president of the University Students' Council, said he does not doubt there are issues which have not been made public. "For Larry Haylor to step down, there are things we don't know about," he said.

Bob Davis, president of Ontario University Athletics said the OUA will probably not be investigating the events leading up to the sanctions placed on the Mustangs. In fact, Davis was unaware sanctions had been implemented.

"I don't think it's our mandate to investigate. It does not involve participating with other institutions – it's an internal institutional issue," he said.

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Copyright The Gazette 1998