Northwestern University Women's Soccer Team Hazing Caught on Tape

This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," May 16, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Back of the Book" segment tonight, Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, has suspended the women's soccer team from playing because of some pictures taken at a hazing ritual.

Now, these pictures are on the Internet, and they have embarrassed the university. The women themselves have not been suspended from school, but they can't play soccer anymore.

Citizen athletic director for media services Mike Wolf says there is an investigation underway. No further comment from Northwestern.

With us now, Dr. Susan Lipkins, author of the upcoming book "Inside Hazing: Understanding Hazardous Hazing." The doctor is a psychologist.

I'll show you a bit more of those pictures. We're not trying to shock you, but we want to try to figure out what's going on here. We have the sports team, we know the Duke thing. That wasn't a hazing, but it was another gathering that was inappropriate. This looks like an inappropriate gathering. What's going on?

SUSAN LIPKINS, PSYCHOLOGIST AND HAZING EXPERT: I think that in these pictures, it is clearly an initiation and it's definitely a hazing. Even though the girls don't see it as that. They see it as just having a lot of fun.

However, there's a beginning, a middle, and an end. And I'm pretty sure that there's a tradition of doing such a thing for the rookies, the new kids on the team.

O'REILLY: Right. Is it bad? I mean, are they doing anything wrong?

LIPKINS: As far as I'm concerned, there are lots of things that are wrong. Hazing is really a tradition. It's part of a group process. They — the hazing gets defined because of humiliation, demeaning, degrading kinds of behaviors. Things that could be physically or psychologically damaging. As far as I'm concerned, there's lots of that in these pictures.

O'REILLY: OK. What about the pictures disturb you specifically?

LIPKINS: Well, I guess the fact that girls are willing to walk around in underwear and white T-shirts through the campus, that they are blindfolded with their hands tied behind their back. That they're going down basement stairs where they could easily fall. That they're playing drinking games and have no idea how much alcohol they're ingesting.

That they had to do a prearranged skit that the winner was the two girls who did the best kissing and the losers ended up doing lap dances on the boys' soccer team.

I'm really concerned about what those messages are that the girls are sending to themselves and to each other about their bodies, about the way they respect themselves. What is the sexuality all about?

O'REILLY: You know, some people are going to say look, this is just "Animal House." You remember the movie John Belushi in "Animal House"?

LIPKINS: Absolutely.

O'REILLY: And this goes on in all colleges. It's just basically a rite of passage and everybody has blown it out of proportion because we live in a P.C. world. And you would reply?

LIPKINS: Everybody thinks it is politically correct policy or garbage probably is what the problem is. I don't think the coaches or the athletic directors take this seriously. They don't see the kids end up in jail, in the hospital, or in the morgue.

O'REILLY: Do you see this as a progressive thing that just happens and because they do it, they're going to do worse things?

LIPKINS: Absolutely. In the last 10 years, hazing has become much more violent and much more sexualized.

O'REILLY: That's what bothers me. I agree with you. I've seen meanness come into this kind of thing and no boundaries, because we don't have any boundaries as a society anymore, do we?

LIPKINS: I think it is part of society. And we find it throughout the world, actually, hazing like this. I'm particularly concerned in this case because it's an athletic hazing. Most of the attention is to fraternities and sororities. And they do have one hour of new membership education which says you're not allowed to haze.

O'REILLY: Yes, and Northwestern has a policy against this which is why these people are in trouble.

Doctor, thanks for coming in. We appreciate it.

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