ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (AP) — University of New Mexico Athletic Director Paul Krebs said Wednesday that there's no question there was hazing by the women's football team and that alcohol played a role.
Two team members were sent to the hospital following the incident, which a police report said involved several players who were extremely intoxicated.
Krebs said no one was forced to drink, but because of peer pressure officials consider it hazing.
Despite the efforts of the athletic department and the coaches to develop leadership among student-athletes and to build team chemistry, Krebs said not enough was done to prevent the hazing.
"In this particular instance involving our women's football program, we failed," Krebs said during a news conference. "Whether it's coach (Kit) Vela, myself, as a department, we failed the young women in this program, that they didn't understand and they didn't know better that what they were doing was simply wrong and uncalled for and should have never happened."
As punishment, the team's season opener in Lubbock, Texas, was cancelled. The players also have to participate in a mandatory hazing-education class, and they will have to do community service.
The investigation is ongoing, and officials said additional sanctions are possible.
On Tuesday, freshmen twins Danielle and Devin Scelsi quit the team and withdrew from the school.
University police were sent to a dormitory on campus Sunday night in reference to a student who was highly intoxicated. Danielle Scelsi, 18, told police her sister was having trouble breathing and appeared to be vomiting.
Two other 18-year-olds in the apartment also appeared to be intoxicated, according to the police report.
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