OTTAWA — The University of Ottawa is relaunching its varsity men’s hockey program after it was suspended last year in connection with a sexual assault investigation.
Two students who were on the team were charged last summer with sexually assaulting a female student at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ont., last February.
Almost a month after the alleged incident, the entire hockey team was suspended.
The university now says the team will be ready to compete in the 2016-17 season.
It says that ever since the men’s hockey program was suspended last year, measures have been put in place aimed at creating “the appropriate environment” for a re-launch.
The university says those measures include the implementation of behavioural guidelines, the establishment of an ethics and discipline committee and mandatory participation of all varsity student athletes in orientation sessions that cover hazing and harassment among other issues.
The measures stem from recommendations made after an extensive analysis of procedures, practices and team culture following the suspension of the hockey program.
“We are confident these measures will foster a positive environment for our student-athletes and coaching staff,” Marc Schryburt, director of Sports Services with the university, said in a statement.
“We will ensure that all of Sports Services’ programs at uOttawa continue to receive our guidance and support.”
The university says the relaunch of its program begins Thursday with the search for a new head coach.
The Canadian Press