Chico State lacrosse teams suspended for alcohol violations

Picture of Chico State Lacrosse team
Chico State’s lacrosse club following its alumni game in October. While investigating the recent death of a student, the university discovered two parties on Jan. 10 and Jan. 16 at which the code of conduct concerning alcohol was violated. Photo courtesy of OrgSync Chico State.

The Chico State men’s and women’s lacrosse teams were suspended Monday for the remainder of the spring 2015 season for violating the college’s alcohol policies.

Both team’s coaches and club officers received letters dated Feb. 2 stating teams would be banned from participating in any competitions and conducting any club business during its suspension, according to a campus-wide statement. Teams would be eligible to reapply for sanction at the end of the spring semester.

The suspension stems from investigations into parties held by the clubs on Jan. 10 and Jan. 16. Student affairs administrators became aware of the parties after investigations into the death of 18-year-old Nicholas Castellanos, a member of the men’s club. Castellanos was killed the night of Jan. 16 trying to cross through the intersection of Walnut and West Fifth streets. The Butte County Coroner’s Office has not released the toxicology report so it is not known if alcohol was a factor.

Investigators charged that alcohol was available at these social functions where members of both clubs were present, the release read. The code of conduct policy, signed by all members of any sanctioned sport club, bans drug and alcohol use at any social functions. The policy defines social function as “any activity, gathering or social function that could be considered a club function due to the makeup of the participants.”

Drew Calandrella, vice president for Student Affairs, said these violations will not be tolerated in the future.

“All our student organizations must have alcohol policies, and we act decisively when they violate these policies,” he said in the statement. “I know it will be hard on these students to lose a season of competition, but they are aware these violations took place and that they are not acceptable and will not be tolerated.”

The men’s team current has 33 members, and the women’s team has 21. They began practicing in January for tournaments later in the semester. The teams were scheduled to go on the road beginning Saturday to play at Oregon State University and the University of Oregon before the suspension.

Neither team’s officers nor coaches could be reached for comment following the suspension.

David McVicker can be reached at [email protected] or @DavidPMcVicker on Twitter.