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SUNY Geneseo: Volleyball season canceled after hazing

SUNY Geneseo has canceled its women's volleyball season after 11 students -- including four from Long Island -- were charged with hazing and giving alcohol to several of the team's underage members, the upstate university announced Friday.

"The team will not practice or participate in any intercollegiate games for the remainder of this academic year," according to a statement posted Friday on the school's website. "This decision has been made in light of recent reports of underage drinking and hazing at a team 'initiation' event . . . that involved all but one member of the team."

The incident took place last week off campus and involved three members of the team from Long Island and one former member, also from Long Island, school officials said.

The Long Island team members were identified as Noelle Morrison, 20, of Stony Brook; Carissa Gagliardi, 19, of Wantagh; and Megan Johnson, 19, of Moriches. The former team member from Long Island charged was identified as Laura Rahab, 21, of East Northport. None of them could be reached for comment Friday.

The victims were "summoned" to an off-campus house Sept. 2 "and allegedly blindfolded, handcuffed and ordered to drink alcoholic beverages," Geneseo Village police said in a statement. "This resulted in one person being transported to the hospital."

School President Christopher C. Dahl said he was grateful all the students involved in the incident are safe.

"Not only do such actions ignore the expectations and values of the college but they put lives at risk," Dahl said in his statement, also posted Friday on the website. "We have firmly and frequently educated all students on our campus regarding college policies on hazing and alcohol consumption for many years and will continue to do so in the most aggressive ways possible."

University spokesman David Irwin said campus police learned first of the incident, and because it took place off campus, they notified village police.

The school canceled all the team's scheduled matches, including a tournament, as it conducted an internal investigation.

Friday's statement said there could be disciplinary action against the 11 students but was not specific. The statement said, ". . . the students involved will also be subject to college conduct reviews and possible disciplinary action. College conduct review results will be confidential in accordance with college policy and federal law."

All 11 defendants were charged with hazing in the first degree and unlawfully dealing with a child in the first degree, both misdemeanors, the police statement said. They are scheduled to appear in Geneseo Village Court on Oct. 9.

Friday's statement said that students are expected to comply with the school's student code of conduct and the law.

With William Murphy

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