High school hockey hazing allegations have Manitoba athletic association in uncharted territory

The director of the Manitoba High Schools Athletic Association (MHSAA) says news of alleged hazing — and the serious criminal investigation that stemmed from it — involving a local high school hockey team is hard to hear.

Earlier this week, three hockey players from southern Manitoba were arrested and now face charges related to sexual assault in connection with alleged hazing incidents in Winnipeg while their high school team was in the city to participate in tournaments.

The 17 -year-olds, students in the Prairie Spirit School Division, were arrested on various charges, including sexual assault, sexual assault with a weapon, assault and forcible confinement.

MHSAA executive director Chad Falk told 680 CJOB the seriousness of the allegations was a shock to the MHSAA, and unprecedented in his decade with the organization. He said the school division brought the reports to the association’s attention in February.

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Click to play video: '3 Manitoba teens arrested, face sexual assault charges following hazing reports'

3 Manitoba teens arrested, face sexual assault charges following hazing reports

“I’m almost 10 years in the position as executive director, and this is the first time that it has reached this level and been brought forward to our attention.

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“(The division) were the first ones to let us know about the matter and that they were dealing with it on an internal investigation and that it was also being investigated by authorities,” he said.

“So we’ve just been providing them with any information that they need on our end.”

In a statement issued Wednesday, the school division said it will not be commenting on any charges or the investigation.

The three suspects were released and are scheduled to appear in a Winnipeg courtroom on June 10.

Falk said the MHSAA, alongside Sport Manitoba, has been running safe sport workshops for athletes and coaches.

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“We’ve been doing them for the last two school years. We have them planned again to do three next school year, and we’ll keep expanding upon that,” he said.

“They focus on awareness, prevention and action.”

Click to play video: 'Three Manitoba teens arrested over alleged hockey hazing incidents'

Three Manitoba teens arrested over alleged hockey hazing incidents

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