Men’s rugby team reinstated after completion of arson investigation

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Effective immediately, Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics has announced the reinstatement of the men’s rugby team. The team was suspended on March 21 while Penn State’s Office of Student Conduct led an investigation into an incident of arson, which on Jan. 14 destroyed the rugby and cross country teams’ sheds near the Penn State golf course. The inquiry has concluded that only a very limited number of players had any connection to the incident.

“We are extremely disappointed that two members of Penn State’s rugby program were allegedly involved with and have been charged with arson for the fire that led to the destruction of the rugby and cross country teams’ sheds on Jan. 14,” said David Joyner, Penn State Director of Athletics. “However, based upon the results of a thorough investigation by the Office of Student Conduct, Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics has determined that a very limited number of players were connected to the incident in any way. A vast majority of them were unaware of the crime’s connection to the team. As a result, the team’s suspension has been lifted immediately.”

Joyner thanked the players for their cooperation throughout the investigation, and thanked parents and rugby alumni for their patience and support throughout the process.

“After meeting with the team’s student leaders, we feel strongly that positive strides are being made to honor and respect the history and legacy of rugby at Penn State. We also believe that team members will positively represent themselves, their teammates, Intercollegiate Athletics and Penn State in a first-class manner at all times,” Joyner said. “Although this was an extremely unfortunate situation, we are confident that the men’s rugby program will learn and grow stronger as a result.”

Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics is continuing to investigate the conduct of a very limited number of team members and will handle each on an individual, case-by-case basis.

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Last Updated April 18, 2014