Atlantic University Sport (AUS) suspended a total of 15 players and both head coaches due to a fight that erupted during an Acadia-St. Francis Xavier's hockey game last weekend.
Nine St. FX players have been given suspensions totaling 21 games. Six Acadia players have received suspensions totaling up to 14 games.
During a press conference on Wednesday's suspensions, AUS, the governing body of university sports in the Canadian Atlantic, revealed that the comment that triggered the fight involved the word "rapist"
"We did not take that comment to lightly, "said Phil Currie, executive director of AUS.
Sam Studnicka, one of the St. FX players involved, issued a statement earlier this week, saying he had been the subject of a derogatory comment in the game related to a sexual assault survivor.
"Any suspension announced today is automatic," Currie said. "If you left your bench, you receive an automatic two-game suspension, if you were the third person in a fight, you receive an automatic two-game suspension."
Both head coaches also each received two suspension games.
Darren Burns, of Acadia, was suspended for a game due to his misconduct in Saturday's game and an additional game because an Acadia player Axemen was the first to leave the bank during the altercation. St. FX's head coach, Brad Peddle, received two games because Saturday was his second misconduct of the season.
These are higher education institutions and, as administrators of University sports, violence in our events is unacceptable. There is no place to fight in college sports, whether in hockey, basketball, volleyball or any other sport. – Phil Currie, CEO of Atlantic University Sport
"This whole situation is extremely disappointing," Currie said.
"These are higher education institutions and, as college sports administrators, the violence at our events is unacceptable – there is no place to fight in college sports, whether it's hockey, basketball, volleyball or any other sport."
WARNING: This video contains offensive language .
] In his statement, Studnicka said it was not the first time he was attacked with such comments in his three years of play. ng hockey for the X-Men.
"There is no place for such comments within our society," Studnicka said in his statement. "Sexual assault is a very serious problem and there is simply no place to embarrass survivors of sexual assault."
Studnicka received a two-game suspension for fighting. The player he chased and fought in the center of the ice, Rodney Southam of Acadia, is also suspended for two games for fighting.
A secondary review
Due to the seriousness of the allegations, the AUS investigation into the fight will now enter into a secondary review and more suspensions could be issued.
"These allegations are worrying, to say the least," Currie said. "We will not tolerate comments of this nature or gender insults of any kind in our league."
A St. FX spokesman said the school will not comment on the suspensions on Wednesday. Acadia has yet to respond to a request for comment.
Both St. FX and Acadia have two remaining games in their regular season. The alignment of both teams will be seriously exhausted when they play their next games. Acadia plays in Halifax on Wednesday night against Saint Mary's, while St. FX will have a very difficult task on Friday night when he plays against the University of New Brunswick, the number 2 team in Canada.
Some of the suspended players will miss the playoff games, which begin next week.
Unless there are changes in the league standings, Acadia and St. FX are on track to face each other in the first round.