BOSTON — Boston University is often called a “hockey school.” The team has one of the biggest budgets, and the most celebrity. But now that team is notorious.
“I was really surprised to see this come up again,” says freshman Noel Coleman. “I’m just kind of baffled how this keeps happening.”
On Sunday, junior Max Nicastro was arrested on rape charges. The hockey player is accused of sexually assaulting a female student in a campus dorm.
Nicastro’s arraignment Tuesday comes a little more than two months after his fellow teammate, Corey Trivino, was arrested and dismissed from school. Trivino was also arraigned on charges of sexual assault.
In 2010, Trivino and another hockey player were disciplined for producing a vulgar, hyper-sexualized rap song and posting it on the Web.
“Party Like a Puck Star” describes sexual, drunken exploits of hockey players. The singer describes “banging” women without knowing their names, and mentions many BU landmarks. Because of the song, and a penchant for wild parties, many students perceived hockey players to be rowdy.
“Unfortunately, I’m not surprised this happened,” says junior Maya Jimenez.
She lives in the same building Nicastro called home. She says she doesn’t follow sports on campus, but she’s aware of the reputations of the different teams. She says hockey players are simultaneously seen as kings and cowboys.
“It’s ludicrous how much attention they get and how much leeway they think they have with everything,” says Jimenez. “Girls throw themselves on them. You hear about these crazy, certain sports teams parties, it’s known that girls attend these parties and expect to hook up with the athletes. I think it’s gross.”
Still, others think the problem is isolated to a few players.
“Certainly this has caused everyone here at BU to really look at the mirror, and say, ‘Hey, what are the values that we’re promoting here as a hockey program?’ ” says freshman fan Tim McGuirk. “BU will continue to be a program of excellence. It will just be a function of weeding out these players who don’t stand for the Terrier way.”
WBUR tried to speak with the hockey team at practice Tuesday, but the doors to the ice rink were locked. We were told BU hockey coach Jack Parker isn’t doing interviews for the time being, and the BU athletic director was out of town and unavailable.
Boston University’s Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore wouldn’t say whether he thinks there’s a larger problem with the hockey team.
“I’m not going to say whether I do or not,” he said in a phone interview. “I think that I’ve got to work off of investigating what we’ve got right now in front of us. Certainly I have the luxury of looking at the big picture. And in that investigation, I think if we see there are some connecting points here, whatever those might be, we’ll try and make sure that we address that.”
Elmore says, by and large, the school’s athletes and other students behave like responsible adults. The student who was arrested was not typical.
BU administration says Max Nicastro is no longer enrolled at the university. They would not say whether he was expelled or withdrew from the school.