IM ExecComm Bans DKE For Fall TermBy Eun J. Lee
ASSOCIATE FEATURES EDITOR
The Intramural Executive Committee has suspended the Delta Kappa Epsilon Fraternity from involvement in all IM sports for the remainder of this term and for fall 2001.
The ruling resulted from allegations that DKE brothers displayed inappropriate behavior during an April 25 softball game against the Sloan School of Management.
DKE teams will not be allowed to complete any of their current intramural seasons, and they will not be allowed to enter teams into any IM sports during the fall semester.
“The overall attitude of the game in general showed very unsportsmanlike conduct in terms of comments and behavior on the field,” said Todd S. Stefanik G, IM Executive Vice-Chairman.
Intramural Executive Chairman Rory P. Pheiffer ’02 hopes that this punishment will provide a warning to all IM participants. “Our decision sends a clear message that inappropriate behavior on the field is unacceptable,” Pheiffer said.
Teams argue over starting time
The dispute began when Sloan refused to cancel their scheduled 11 p.m. softball game with DKE on an hour’s notice. “I wasn’t calling eleven guys an hour before the game and telling them not to come,” said Evan K. Cohen G, the captain of Sloan’s softball team.
“I’ve noticed that a lot of teams on IM teams tend to try to postpone games very late, which is frustrating to the team that they are playing against,” said Paul C. Ayers G, Chemical Engineering softball captain and umpire of the game. “It is especially difficult for teams which have members who do not all live on campus, such as Sloan, to get in contact with all their players at such short notice.”
According to Pheiffer, there were disruptions throughout the game. “There was rude behavior, ... and at least one incident where a fight almost broke out,” he said.
“On our team, we often bait each other, but it’s always friendly and at face value,” Ayers said. “At this game, DKE was being a real annoyance in a malicious and confrontational way from the beginning. There was also foul language being used on the field.”
Fans interfere with game play
Ayers said that at several points, rowdy fans interfered with the course of the game. “Some of the DKE fans got on the field and were getting in the way of the Sloan team. At one point there were four people guarding first base,” he said.
At the top of the second inning, a member of the Sloan team who was charging first base hurt his arm as he crashed into a nearby hockey goal. This incident did not come into play during the IM ruling against DKE.
“There was no real physical confrontation except for some people pushing each other around -- it was less physical than you would see on a football field,” Ayers said.
One member of the Sloan team caused a physical altercation in the first inning and ran into the DKE first baseman; he has been suspended from participation in softball for the rest of the season and placed on probation through next term.
DKE is being held accountable for the actions of both its team members and its fans.
“Any team involved in IM sports is responsible for the fans it brings, and we did hear reports of various comments thrown to other members of the field from the fans,” Stefanik said.
Suspensions not uncommon
Although this is the first time this year that the IM ExecComm has suspended an affiliated organization, Pheiffer said that other individuals and organizations have been suspended in the past.
“There have been incidents before. We have a couple of hearings a year,” Pheiffer said. Some of these incidents have involved teams which are not affiliated with fraternities.
In the case that an individual displays poor conduct, the IM ExecComm suspends just that person. An organization is often suspended when several members of a team violate rules of conduct.
“It wasn’t an incident in particular which involved a specific person, or else that one person would have been suspended rather than the whole team,” Stefanik said.
IM ExecComm has internal review
In a written statement, DKE apologized for its conduct during the game. “The actions of individual brothers on our softball team were unacceptable and uncharacteristic of both themselves and Delta Kappa Epsilon in general,” said Javier Cisneros ’02, DKE President. “We deeply regret these actions and apologize to everyone involved.”
“We have agreed to the sanctions imposed by the IM executive committee,” said Cisneros in his letter. “We would like to stress that this has been handled both internally and by our IM committee, and we consider this matter closed.”
The IM committee has its own closed review process which deals with violations internally to avoid sanctions by MIT and the IFC. “IM is pretty much autonomous ... we have all binding power,” Pheiffer said. “We do a good job of dealing with incidents quickly and making sure that they don’t happen again.”
DKE de-recognized by IM
As part of the sanctions issued by IM ExecComm, DKE has been de-recognized as a member affiliation of the IM Council and will have to be a provisional member during the spring 2002 term if it wishes to become an active member of the IM Council again.
If DKE members choose to form independent teams, they will be held to the same standard as if they were affiliated with DKE.
“This, more or less, is a zero-tolerance clause, whereas any reports of misconduct will be taken very seriously and dealt with very sternly,” Pheiffer wrote in an e-mail sent to IM athletic chairs.