UPDATE from President Biddy Martin: December 12, 2016
Earlier this afternoon, the College retained Justice John M. Greaney to investigate reports regarding the men’s cross country team. Knowledge of the facts will guide the College’s decisions about disciplinary process. Justice Greaney, a former justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, is currently Counsel at the law firm of Bulkley, Richardson, and Gelinas.
I encourage anyone who has information that would be relevant to Justice Greaney’s investigation to submit a report (anonymously, if you prefer) at: amherst.edu/go/reporting
I will provide periodic updates of the status of the investigation to the campus community.
December 11, 2016
Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
Late this afternoon I was informed by the athletic director, Don Faulstick, of an article in the student publication The Indicator that exposes emails and social-media exchanges among members of the men’s cross-country team. These exchanges are supposedly meant to “welcome” new teammates and introduce them to the culture of the team. The messages are appalling. They are not only vulgar, they are cruel and hateful. No attempt to rationalize them will change that. My reaction is one of profound sadness, disappointment, and anger. The athletic director has informed me that members of the team confirm the nature of these messages. The exchanges have been occurring for several years.
The conduct of those involved flagrantly violates Amherst’s principles and the most basic forms of decency and respect.
The athletic director has informed members of the cross-country team that, pending an investigation, all team activities have been suspended. I expect to have more information within the next several days.
Statement from Don Faulstick, Athletic Director
Earlier today the athletics department was alerted to an article in The Indicator that describes racist, misogynist, and homophobic messages on a team social-media exchange among members of the men’s cross-country team.
The exchanges and the behavior described in the article—which team members acknowledge—are disgusting. They have no place on our sports teams or anywhere at our College. They violate the “zero-tolerance” standard toward bigotry of any kind that we explicitly set for our athletes.
An investigation will begin immediately. In the meantime, effective at once, the cross-country team has been suspended from all team activities.