MAILED: Dec. 15, 2000
The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire has suspended its mens hockey coach for approximately one month including five games as a result of his actions during a Dec. 9 hockey game against Augsburg College.
Coach Marlin Muylaert has been suspended from his coaching duties until Jan. 13, 2001, because of his display of poor sportsmanship, Steven Tallant, associate vice chancellor of academic affairs, announced today. The suspension was announced after UW-Eau Claire administrators completed their investigation into the events of the Dec. 9 game, which ended with the Blugold hockey team leaving the ice before the game had been completed.
The conclusion of the review is that Coach Muylaerts behavior during the hockey game with Augsburg College demonstrated a lack of respect for the Augsburg team, the Augsburg fans, the game officials, UW-Eau Claire and the essence of athletic competition, Tallant said. The integrity of athletic competition at all levels of play, but especially at our educational institutions, requires that this type of behavior not be tolerated. While we recognize that in the heat of competition poor decisions do occur, never is it acceptable to toss sportsmanship aside.
I regret the very difficult and uncomfortable position my actions placed certain members of my institution in, Muylaert said. I respect the thorough and impartial investigation they undertook, and I respect the penalty they have imposed on me.
UW-Eau Claires review of the incident included gathering statements from individuals at the game, including Muylaert, the Augsburg athletic director and officials working the game. UW-Eau Claire administrators, the supervisor of officials for the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association and from the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference reviewed the videotape of the game. UW-Eau Claire administrators also consulted with commissioners from the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association, the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
This is a disappointing moment in Blugold athletics, Tallant said. Nobody is happy with the incidents or the suspension of Coach Muylaert. However, if it helps us all players, coaches, officials, administrators and fans to remember and reflect upon what athletic competition and good sportsmanship should be about, then, hopefully, something positive and educational will be gained from the unfortunate events of Dec. 9.
Brandon Klement, an assistant coach, has been named interim coach. He will assume responsibility for overall supervision and administration of UW-Eau Claires mens hockey program, beginning with the teams Saturday game against UW-River Falls.
I look forward to returning to the team when my penalty expires and ensuring that we turn this unfortunate incident into a positive learning opportunity for all members of the Blugold family, Muylaert said.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: Dec. 15, 2000