HALIFAX - Members of Dalhousie University's women's hockey team say they feel betrayed by the Halifax school after an alleged hazing ritual that cost them the rest of their season.
The university suspended all but first-year players from the team last week after an investigation into the September incident, which the school said involved excessive drinking, intimidation and humiliation.
Dalhousie University spokesman Charles Crosby has said no one was physically hurt during the private house party, but that many players were "put in harm's way" both physically and psychologically.
The team has issued a statement saying it held a party to welcome new players that included drinking games among other activities, but did not force anyone to drink alcohol.
It also says first-year players dressed up in "odd clothing," and were asked to eat sardines, hot peppers and whipped cream, but none of the activities was mandatory.
The team apologizes "for any mistakes" made during the party, but lambastes the university for its handling of the situation, saying school officials aggressively and unfairly interrogated players and depicted them as criminals.
Team members have also appealed in a letter to Dalhousie University president Tom Traves to reverse the suspension, saying they are willing to take the matter to court if necessary.