(10/03/12) - It's a major penalty for the Central Michigan University club hockey team - a five year suspension.
The university says the team violated both the school's hazing policy and alcohol policy at a party.
But the hockey players say the university has it all wrong, and now they are fighting back.
The harsh suspension has come as a big surprise to a lot of people in the hockey community in Mount Pleasant, including the players.
Jones went to Grand Blanc High School and was preparing for his senior season on the CMU club hockey team. But that season may start after CMU suspended the club hockey team for five years, virtually assuring that the current members of the team will have left the school by the time the suspension is lifted.
"When we heard that, it was, I mean, my stomach dropped, it's the sport I love," Jones said.
CMU officials became aware of an off-campus party that took place in mid-September where club hockey team members were at, and a student code of conduct hearing resulted in the five year suspension for three violations that allegedly occurred at the party.
"Hazing, alcohol use by underage students, as well as violations of the university's student organization manual," said Tony Voison, assistant vice president for CMU student affairs.
Jones was at the party, but did not want to talk about what exactly happened at the party. However, he does say pictures from the party were posted on Facebook.
"Things are perceived differently from the social media and that's what the university saw and we are just trying to show the university that's not what happened," he said.
Rob Flynn, the director of the Mt. Pleasant Ice Arena, says the suspension of the club hockey team will hurt the facility financially.
"$12,000 to $14,000 in ice time they would rent between practices and the games," Flynn said.
Voisin says hazing is an issue that many institutions have to deal with.
"It's a very big concern for everyone, including higher education," he said.
A decision on the club hockey team's appeal should be reached within three weeks.
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