EVANSTON, Ill. – Northwestern University's women's soccer team, which was suspended indefinitely after photographs of alleged hazing appeared on the Internet, has issued an apology for the "negative attention, press and controversy" it caused the school.
"We fully accept responsibility for our behavior and understand the magnitude and severity of the current situation," the team said in a letter that appeared in Monday's edition of the school's student newspaper, The Daily Northwestern.
In the letter, the team did not detail the alleged incidents or address specifically the photographs that appeared earlier this month on a Web site that allegedly showed members of the team clad only in T-shirts and underwear, some blindfolded and others with their hands tied behind their back. Nor did they address the photographs that appeared to show some team members drinking alcohol.
But they did say that "this incident does not reflect the values, integrity and qualities we seek to embody."
They also professed surprise that their actions had caused such a stir. "We never foresaw that what began as a well-intentioned night of team unity and celebration would have such severe consequences," according to the apology.
Mike Wolf, Northwestern's assistant athletic director for media services, said the school would have no comment on the letter or on the investigation by the school's Division of Student Affairs. Women's soccer coach Jenny Haigh did not immediately return a call to her office for comment on the apology.
Last week, the school suspended the team from all athletic activities. That same week, the school placed the men's swim team on disciplinary probation for a hazing that occurred last September that involved underage drinking and what Wolf called "additional inappropriate behavior."