Oregon board says, "NO naked Ultimate Frisbee"
07:08 AM PDT on Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Associated Press* EUGENE, Ore. (AP) -- Clothing and sobriety would seem unlikely requirements of a college Ultimate Frisbee squad, but the lack of both has brought an end to the University of Oregon's season.
A five-member student board that governs club sports at the university has voted to cut the season short because of conduct violations. The third-ranked Ducks were among the favorites to win their second national title since the team formed in 1978.
The student board ruled last week after receiving a complaint that members of the men's team had played naked in a game at Oregon State on April 11. More than 80 people filled a meeting room Monday night as the team unsuccessfully appealed the ruling, The Register-Guard newspaper reported.
"If this had been an isolated incident we would have treated it much differently," said Jeff Gibb, a member of the club sports executive committee. "I'm not sure I can say that I trust the judgment of the Ultimate team -- that's why it's so hard for me to give you another chance."
The team had been placed on probation in November, following a party for more than 200 Ultimate players from around the Northwest. Eugene police responded to a noise complaint and found five kegs of beer and several minors hiding in the attic.
The year before, the team was warned after players were found drinking before a fundraiser. The team also got in trouble for speeding tickets on the way to a tournament at Stanford.
Team co-captain Dusty Becker apologized to the board, but wasn't too apologetic.
"Speeding, drinking, nudity -- they're not bad things," he said. "They're things a big portion of the community doesn't think are wrong."
Since being placed on probation, the team has traveled with chaperones, team co-captain Steve Kenton said. The adult chaperones were present on the Saturday afternoon at Oregon State, when the club's A and B teams, scheduled to play each other, decided to play a naked point -- a ritual in Ultimate where one team plays without shirts and the other plays without pants or underwear.
"To run around naked is just kind of a hippie, ultimate thing," Becker said. "We didn't think there was anything wrong at the time."
A female trainer present at the tournament filed a complaint with Oregon State's public safety department, a copy of which was received by the student board.
Team captains said they plan to quickly make a last-ditch appeal to the UO student government Senate. To qualify for the national tournament in Columbus, Ohio, the team must play at a regional tournament this weekend.
At Monday's meeting, team members read from a handful of more than 30 letters they had received from Ultimate coaches and players from across the nation, asking the committee to reconsider its decision.
"I came to the UO to play Frisbee," Kenton, a senior history major, told the board. "That may sound silly, but a lot of people do."