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Oh Moe, say it ain't so

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The OHL said the hazing involved making players strip and stand in the small bathroom at the back of the team bus.

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WINDSOR, Ont. (CP) -- The Ontario Hockey League has come down hard on the Windsor Spitfires over a hazing incident and a fight between teammates during a practice.

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The league suspended Moe Mantha for the rest of the regular season and the playoffs as general manager and 40 games as coach for the incidents. The team was also fined a total of $35,000.

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"The league has a zero-tolerance policy on hazing and the league must make a very strong statement against it," OHL commissioner Dave Branch said Tuesday during a conference call. "Any form of hazing must be eradicated."

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He said the league needed to hand down a firm punishment to show it is serious about hazing and to assure players and their parents that the league will do all it can to provide "a healthy environment" for its players.

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The league will also arrange a meeting between players, their parents and the families players are billeted with to discuss the hazing. The team will make a psychologist available to any player who wants it, he added.

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Mantha, who played for five different teams during a 12-year NHL career, and team owner Steve Riolo were not immediately available for comment. No announcement was made on who would act as coach or GM during Mantha's suspensions.

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Branch said there was no relation between the two incidents but both called for league action.

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The hazing took place on the team bus Sept. 9 on a trip back from a pre-season game in London, Ont.

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The incident involved players "being told to strip and stand in the washroom at the back of the bus by other players," the OHL said in a release. Branch said five players were involved, but only four were crammed into the washroom.

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He would not say if the players were rookies in order to protect their identities.

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However, jamming first-year players into the tiny washroom at the back of a bus, known as a hot box, has a long history among junior teams.

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The fight took place during a team practice Sept. 28 involving players Akim Aliu and Steve Downie.

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Aliu was cross-checked in the mouth by Downie, chipping two teeth. Aliu went to the locker-room but came back out later and fought with the Philadelphia Flyers' first-round draft pick.

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The Spitfires were fined the league maximum of $25,000 for the hazing and $10,000 for the fight. Mantha was suspended as coach for 25 games for the hazing and another 15 games for the fight.

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Branch said the fines "go to the issue of leadership and it starts with the owner, the general manager and the coaching staff."

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He said a distinction was made between Mantha's two jobs as coach and GM for the suspensions because the hazing was a "management issue."

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Branch said the investigation into the hazing took 19 days and included interviews with Riolo, Mantha, two assistant coaches, two trainers and 25 players, some of whom are no longer with the Spitfires.

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His first step was to meet with the players and coaches as a group to tell them the tradition of keeping secret what goes on in the locker-room or away from public view wouldn't be accepted.

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He said that in the individual interviews, players were "very candid.

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"They made the process easy for myself. I commend them for that. And I hope the message got out."

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The OHL requires each team to have posters in its locker-room stating that anyone involved in hazing, or who doesn't report hazing, will be suspended.

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Branch said he does not expect any prospective players to have reservations about coming to the OHL.

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"The first step was to send the appropriate message to families and future players that this is not something we support," he said. "I'm sure we can overcome the damage, for the most part, that's been inflicted here."

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The fight has deprived the league of one of its star players in Downie.

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Branch said the coaches showed a lack of leadership in allowing Aliu to return to the ice and in not sending Downie off the ice.

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The Spitfires imposed a five-game suspension on Downie and the participation in a personal counselling program. Aliu, Windsor's first-round pick in 2005, received a one-game suspension and must also attend counselling sessions.

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Downie opted to leave the team and has threatened to sit out the season if the Spitfires do not trade him.

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hazing is despicable. Good for the league.

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Windsor is a wreck and so are the Spits. Hazing is wrong, but it happens all around the league. The Spitfires were just dumb enough to get caught.

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tỷ lệ cá cược bóng đá hôm nay

it shouldnt happen, it has no use whatsoever. We never had hazings in high school or college. and none of my friends have been hazed in university, so why is it still happening in the OHL?

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It's basically an unwanted part of sports.

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Soggy cracker anyone?

Or cookie. Or slice of bread.

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tỷ lệ cá cược bóng đá hôm nay

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