The University of Ottawa announced on Jan. 16 that the men’s hockey team will be suspended for the 2015–16 season.
According to a statement released by the university, the decision was made to allow Ontario University Athletics “time to plan its schedule for the upcoming season.”
In June, when the team was suspended for the 2014–15 year, the Task Force on Respect and Equality was created in response to two events: two members of the men’s hockey team allegedly sexually assaulted a Lakehead University student, and a sexually graphic conversation about student federation president Anne-Marie Roy was posted online. The task force was expected to release a report by the end of 2014, but has yet to do so.
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U of O president Allan Rock said in the statement released Jan. 16: “we feel it is essential to wait for the Task Force on Respect and Equality to submit its report, which is expected shortly. We are also looking to hire a new men’s hockey coach.”
As the university awaits the report, it has decided that given the competition at this time of year, “it would not be wise to attempt to re-launch a competitive varsity hockey team.”
The statement also maintains that the university plans to re-launch its program for the 2016–17 season.
In August 2014, Guillaume Donovan and David Foucher were charged with sexual assault. Earlier this week on Jan. 13, a lawyer representing former members of the U of O men’s hockey team, excluding Donovan and Foucher, announced they are filing a class-action lawsuit seeking a total of $6 million in damages from the university and its president Allan Rock. A representative of the university said that as of Jan. 16, the U of O has not been served.