Kent State President Wiffs On Statement On Cancelled Field Hockey Game For Football Fireworks

This week the Leopards will be taking on the Temple Owls on a Sunday afternoon out of conference matchup. What is certain, is that this game will not suffer the fate of being cancelled like the early September game Temple played to incompletion with Maine at Kent State. Temple was invited to a tournament at Kent State and they were to play Maine on Saturday morning. Unfortunately the game went to overtime and encroached on a noon time fireworks display to begin the football game. The field hockey game was shut down  by school officials at about 10:30 am. Overtime in field hockey is a possible 2 x 10 minute golden goal periods!!


Amazingly, after a SELF examination, Kent State  found no Title IX violation, or gender related bias, according to the recently appointed president Todd Diacon. Dr. Diacon replaced Beverly J. Warren on July 1.  The college in their self examination, which was done by the College’s own Office of Compliance, Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action  published a report Friday that stated, ” Poor management of schedule’s aside, the EOAA finds no eveidence of discrimination.” The university will not self impose any sanctions on its athletic department according to multiple news sources.

Both Maine and Temple accused Kent State of gender discrimination. Temple coach Susan Ciufo is quoted in the Washington Post, ” I know we are not a big-revenue sport, but to make young women feel what they did for 70 minutes doesn’t really matter, what are we telling  female athletes about what it means to be a an athlete?”

Kent State officials countered, when a similar scheduling conflict occurred in 2016, Kent State canceled the fireworks display to allow the field hockey game to continue. ” The current case involved new and different personnel.”  The athletic department and President Diacon said they will conduct a “climate study” of the athletic department.

The current investigation did not interview any student athletes from Maine or Temple. So we have a president that admitted that in a similar situation they did the right thing 3 years ago, and now did the wrong thing. At the very least, there seems to be poor management, which includes shutting down a scheduled Division one female sport in favor of a fireworks display scheduled seconds before a football game.

So what we have is poor training and lack of sensitivity, this year. What is needed is an honest look at what has changed in three years. I ask again, as I did one month ago where is the NCAA??? It states quite clearly in game manuals, that the game official is the only one that can stop game in progress.

How about Kent State self- fining itself 150,000 dollars to be split in thirds 50k to the Kent State field hockey program, 50k to the Temple program, and 50k to the Maine Field Hockey program. Maybe that will make whoever the next president and AD are  think a bit more clearly and manage more fairly.


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William Rappolt

I am past chairman of the Lafayette Friends of Field Hockey and a former BOT member at Lafayette College. My wife and I are members of the Board of Trustees for USA Field Hockey Foundation. I am currently Chairman of that Board. I am the retired treasurer of M and T Bank Corporation and a 30 year fan of Division one field hockey

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