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Five women’s lacrosse players suspended indefinitely

The athletics department has suspended five members of the women’s lacrosse team after a GroupMe chat containing “highly concerning” messages surfaces.

Five women’s lacrosse players have been suspended from the team indefinitely for violating team rules after “highly concerning” text messages were brought to the attention of the UMBC Athletics Department.

Senior Alyssa Semones, junior Brittany Marquess, and sophomores Mackenzie Reese, Amber Kovalick and Meghan Milani were suspended after co-head coaches Tony Giro and Amy Slade passed along a GroupMe chat the players were involved in.

The department would not comment on how the coaches became aware of the messages.

Initially, the department increased supervision and modified practices leading up to the home opener versus Drexel last Wednesday to include “non-contact drills,” but decided to suspend the players prior to game time.

“The suspensions came on Wednesday once we had done the necessary initial work,” Director of Athletics Tim Hall said during a phone interview. “But [we] had modified the practices and had very close supervision to ensure safety while we got into the process enough to determine that there needed to be suspensions.”

All five suspended players have not been involved in any team activities since last Wednesday, including the Retriever’s victory over the University of Manhattan this past Saturday.

When asked if the messages were being considered an act of hazing, Hall responded, “We’re reviewing it in a comprehensive manner. We are a department within the division of Student Affairs, so we are looking at all applicable policies, procedures and practices not only within our department but within the Department of Student Affairs.”