College Sports

49ers baseball program on hold during investigation of hazing

Baseball operations at UNC Charlotte have temporarily stopped and several 49ers players suspended as an investigation into hazing in the baseball program continues.

“We remain in close contact with members of the team and their families and are listening closely to their concerns,” UNCC chancellor Phil Dubois said Friday in a statement. “The safety of our students is the foremost priority of the university.”

The names of the suspended players weren’t released. According to school spokesman Tom Whitestone, baseball operations are defined as player activities such as offseason conditioning, skills instruction and meetings. Coaches are still working.

In a text message to the Observer earlier this week, 49ers coach Loren Hibbs said he could not comment until the investigation is completed.

In Friday’s statement, Dubois said the investigation is being conducted outside the athletics department by UNC Charlotte’s Student Affairs Division under the direction of the Office of Legal Affairs in accordance with the university’s Code of Student Responsibility.

In the student code, hazing is defined as “any activity, intentional or unintentional, by a Student, Student Group, or Student Organization, related to membership in a Student Group or Organization, that endangers the mental, physical, or emotional health of a person, regardless of whether such person has consented to participation in the activity. Any actions that demean, disgrace or embarrass a person may also be considered hazing.”

Dubois said more information would be released “as the investigation allows.”

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