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Kent State to Investigate Field Hockey Incident

Jason Scott

The fallout over Kent State University’s decision to stop a field hockey game between Temple University and the University of Maine in order to clear the field for a football fireworks display continues.

According to the Akron Beacon Journal Kent State president Todd Diacon on Thursday sent an email addressed to the university community saying the school would be launching an investigation into why the athletic department stopped the field hockey game, saying that the decision “does not align with our core values or our commitment to students.”

The UMaine-Temple field hockey game was scoreless and heading into its second overtime period on Saturday, when, citing orders from the fire marshall, Kent State officials put an end to the match at 10:30 a.m. Kent State sets off fireworks prior to its football games near the field hockey facility, which is located just north of the football stadium.

The decision drew criticism from the National Field Hockey Coaches Association, as well as from national media. Kent State’s athletic director Joel Nielsen issued an apology for the decision on Monday.

“In hindsight, a different decision should have been made to ultimately ensure the game reached its conclusion,” Nielsen said.

In his email, Diacon also apologized, writing that “it was a regrettable decision, and I am truly sorry about it.

“Ending the field hockey match prematurely — frustrating the dedicated student-athletes who were playing to win — does not align with our core values or our commitment to students. All week, I have been thinking of the visiting student-athletes who spent countless hours practicing and preparing for a tournament on our campus, and of the parents who traveled here to show their support. We can, and must, do better.”

Diacon said that the university’s Office of Compliance, Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action would lead the investigation, and provide recommendations.

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