BGSU hockey coach to be reinstated after hazing investigation, student conduct violations issued

You can read the full investigative document at the end of the story.
The BGSU hockey coach is being reinstated after being put on administrative leave amidst hazing allegations.
Published: Oct. 19, 2023 at 3:15 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (WTVG) - The Bowling Green State University head hockey coach will be reinstated following an investigation into an alleged hazing incident, the university announced Thursday. Several students were also notified they violated student code of conduct.

Head coach Ty Eigner was placed on administrative leave and three students were placed on interim suspension in September when the university received a report of a hazing incident at an off-campus event. A September 18 statement from a university spokesperson said BGSU opened its own investigation and alerted local law enforcement as soon as it received the hazing report.

A statement from BGSU on Thursday said an external, independent investigation found student athletes engaged in “conduct with the potential to cause humiliation, physical harm or emotional harm” at an off-campus event. It also found student athletes engaged in underage drinking and older members of the hockey team provided alcohol to underage members.

The incident in question took place during “Rookie Day” and there was underage binge drinking involved.

Those involved were alerted to their student code of conduct violations but there has been no final determination of responsibility, as the student conduct process is ongoing. It’s unclear what possible disciplinary action the involved students could face. The university did not disclose how many student athletes were involved.

While the investigation found that no member of the BGSU Hockey staff had any knowledge of the hazing, the University’s Director of Athletics, Derek van der Merwe, will assume “additional oversight” of the hockey program. BGSU said it is increasing its day-to-day monitoring of the program and the coaching staff will also receive additional employment training.

“Hazing is a national issue and has no place on any college campus. BGSU will continue to take all reports seriously and remains committed to a culture of accountability,” the statement read.

Within days of BGSU announcing the suspensions in regard to the alleged hazing incident, star hockey player Austen Swankler said he entered the transfer portal because he was a victim of hazing incidents. He has since committed to play for Michigan Tech.

“I came out about everything that happened to stop future incidents from occurring,” Swankler said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Hazing is a serious issue especially to this school. So before you saying I’m dragging the school through mud know the facts. I know the facts because I was a victim.”

This is a developing story. Check back for additional details as we learn more.