Report: Syracuse Student-Athletes Held Maskless Party

Paul Steinbach Headshot

Syracuse University student-athletes hosted a party Saturday night with more than 50 people, director of athletics John Wildhack said in an email to athletes, parents and head coaches.

As reported by The Daily Orange independent student newspaper, Department of Public Safety chief Bobby Maldonado informed Wildhack that no one in attendance was wearing a mask. DPS responded to a noise complaint made to the Syracuse Police Department, Wildhack said. 

The party was held a day after the university announced its chapter of the Sigma Chi fraternity was placed on interim suspension for violating public health directives. Members of Syracuse’s Greek community hosted at least three off-campus parties last week, resulting in at least 20 new COVID-19 cases among students, The Daily Orange reported.

It’s unclear if the athletes' party resulted in new COVID-19 infections. As of Sunday night, Syracuse had already recorded 20 cases within the 14-day reporting period that began Saturday. Like last semester, the university will suspend in-person instruction if it exceeds 100 positive tests within the two-week period, which ends Feb. 26.

Wildhack didn’t specify in the email how many athletes attended the party or whether any athletes will face disciplinary action. The Syracuse athletic department did not immediately respond to a Daily Orange request for comment Sunday night.

Wildhack's email:

Student Athletes, Parents and Head Coaches,

I was awakened very early this morning to learn of a party that was hosted at an off-campus apartment last night by student-athletes. Syracuse Police received a noise complaint, and Syracuse University's Department of Public Safety followed up on site. 

Chief Maldonado informed me that over 50 people were in attendance at the party, and none were wearing masks. 

Let me be very clear. This behavior is unacceptable. It violates the 'Stay Safe Pledge' and jeopardizes the leath of our campus community. Gatherings like these have proven to be a source of COVID-19 super-spreader events. 

I'm disappointed. For the most part, the vast majority of our student-athletes have done a tremendous job adhering to COVID-19 health protocols. That has resulted in your teams getting the chance to compete or prepare for the start of your seasons. 

Neither I nor the leadership team of Athletics will tolerate behavior which puts our Athletics community and our University at risk. Together, we've accomplished so much. With vaccines on the market and almost 15% of the Syracuse community vaccinated, better days are within reach. 

We need to recommit to each other that we will make the necessary sacrifices so our student-athletes can be on campus and we continue to compete. Let's be responsible and be true leaders.


Buyer's Guide
Information on more than 3,000 companies, sorted by category. Listings are updated daily.
Learn More
Buyer's Guide
AB Show 2023 in Baltimore
AB Show is a solution-focused event for athletics, fitness, recreation and military professionals.
Nov 1-4, 2023
Learn More
AB Show 2023