Squash Teams Forfeit Matches

Big Green Violated Alcohol Rules

Hanover — The Dartmouth College men’s and women’s squash teams forfeited a combined 10 individual matches Sunday during losses to Brown because some team members violated their program’s self-imposed rules regarding alcohol consumption, Athletic Director Harry Sheehy said. The men’s loss may drop the team out of theoretical contention for a national championship.

Sheehy spoke briefly while attending Dartmouth’s home women’s hockey game late Tuesday night. He added that the rules broken were not those of the department, but ones devised by the squash teams before the start of the season.

Sheehy said that when told by men’s and women’s squash coach Hansi Wiens of the violations, he advised Wiens that creating disciplinary consequences was more important than whatever competitive disadvantage they would create against Brown. Wiens declined an interview request made through Dartmouth’s athletics communications office yesterday afternoon.

The men’s squash team, ranked eighth in the country, lost to No. 17 Brown by a 6-3 score, capturing the three individual matches that weren’t forfeited. The No. 9 women’s team fell to No. 8 Brown by a 7-2 count, winning two of the five individual matches that were played. College squash team competitions consist of nine individual matches.

The collegiate women’s championships will be held Friday through Sunday at Yale, and Dartmouth is expected to compete in the B Division. The top eight teams in the country comprise the A Division. The same format will be used for the men’s championships, also at Yale, on Feb. 22-24.

Sheehy said Tuesday it was unclear whether the Dartmouth men’s loss to Brown would push the team out of the top 8 and into the B Division, thereby preventing the Big Green from competing for the national title. Dartmouth finished seventh in the A Division last year and has not traditionally been a realistic national title contender.

The men’s and women’s teams each lost at Yale last Friday before returning to campus, where the annual Winter Carnival was under way for the weekend. Dartmouth’s athletics communications office was not notified of the suspensions before or immediately after the losses to Brown and director Rick Bender said an email malfunction prevented his staffers from sending out a release detailing the Sunday results to the media. The results were posted on Dartmouth’s athletics web site, however.

The reason for the forfeits only became public after Dartmouth’s student newspaper published an article detailing them Monday. The alcohol violations were linked to an anonymous member of the squash program in that piece.

Tris Wykes can be reached at twykes@vnews.com or 603-727-3227.