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Lafayette College Athletic Director, Trying To ’Protect Our Brand,’ Offers Tough Words To Student-Athletes

February 21, 2013 / Athletic Administration
Tony Rhodin | The Express-Times
February 21, 2013

http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/lafayette/index.ssf/2013/02/lafayette_college_athletic_dir.html

Lafayette College Athletic Director Bruce McCutcheon met with student-athletes last week to talk to them “about protecting our brand,” he said this morning.

Lafayette College Athletic Director Bruce McCutcheon. (Photo by Lafayette College)
Lafayette College Athletic Director Bruce McCutcheon. (Photo by Lafayette College)

McCutcheon said 90 percent of Leopard athletes do what they can to enhance the school’s reputation, but the other 10 percent, “through immature behavior, tarnish” the college’s image.

He wouldn’t comment on a report in the student newspaper The Lafayette that two student-athletes had to go to the hospital for “over-consumption of alcohol” in recent weeks and that caused him to call the group meeting.

“I needed to talk to them, that’s all,” McCutcheon said today.

College spokesman Roger Clow said he couldn’t initially confirm The Lafayette report but added the group meeting “is one of the many different methods we use about being safe and students’ well-being.”

“This is a national problem,” McCutcheon said of collegiate drinking.

Lafayette freshman fencer Everett Glenn died last spring from drinking too much, and The Lafayette report said McCutcheon used Glenn’s name in an effort to get through to the student-athletes.

The college has been studying student drinking and the impact of fraternities and underground organizations on the issue. College President Daniel H. Weiss couldn’t be immediately reached this morning for his view of the meeting.

McCutcheon said he’s gotten a lot of “great” feedback after the intervention Feb. 11 at Kirby Sports Center.

“It’s an issue of responsibility, of making good decisions,” he said. “It’s about making choices and the consequences. … That’s just a life lesson.”

Lafayette works on the issue at the team level and at times in even smaller groups, he said. “I communicate (with students) in different ways,” he said when asked if the large group gathering was a first of its kind.

Clow said he couldn’t say if any Lafayette students had been forced to leave the college over drinking issues, but added that the rules are clearly spelled out in the student handbook and there’s an “ongoing process to deal with the code of conduct.”

Now it’s time for the 10 percent to make a choice, McCutcheon said.

“The 90 percent absolutely get it,” McCutcheon said. “They need to help the 10 percent get it or the 10 percent need to move on.”


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