The Naked Mile: Cross Country Team Banned from Meet after Nude Escapade

In September, all 28 members of the Rider University men’s cross country team were denied participation in a Rider-hosted invitational meet because university public safety officers discovered members of the team about to run naked on the school’s track two weeks earlier.

On the night of September 5, the officers stopped the runners from running boffo and discovered the students were using alcohol. A university investigation found no coercion was employed to force anyone to run naked and no malicious intent was involved, according to university spokeswoman Kristine Brown, who added, “Although no ill intent or coercion was involved, the team’s behavior was unacceptable and is indeed considered hazing.”

Brown acknowledged that some students were charged with university alcohol violations and hazing; their cases were under consideration by the university’s Office of Community Standards.

Head coach Bob Hamer canceled practice until results from the investigation were completed on Sept. 10. The team was suspended from competing in the Sept. 19 meet.

Brown concluded, “Both the team’s head coach and our director of athletics have met with the team to educate them on why their actions were inappropriate and reinforce Rider’s student code of conduct.”

In the team’s next race at the 42nd annual Paul Short Run Friday at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA, on October 2, they finished 19th of 39 in the Brown race. They compete, clothed, at the Princeton Invitational this weekend.

The intercollegiate sports program at Rider University was started by Clair Bee, the legendary college basketball coach who wrote the famous Chip Hilton novels that influenced an entire generation of young men interested in sports.


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