Syracuse athletes host packed, maskless party

Syracuse athletes host packed, maskless party

Members of the athletics community were notified via email of the party that came just days after a spike in COVID-19 cases.
Published: February 15, 2021 | Updated: February 17th, 2021 at 8:23 am
John Wildhack Conference
Syracuse athletic director John Wildhack speaks at the Senior Alumni Luncheon during the 2019 Orange Central Reunion Homecoming.

Director of Athletics John Wildhack confirmed in an email to athletes, parents and coaches that Syracuse athletes hosted a party of over 50 people on Saturday night.

According to the email obtained by The Daily Orange, Department of Public Safety Chief Bobby Maldonado informed Wildhack that over 50 people were in attendance and none of them were wearing a mask. DPS originally responded to a noise complaint made by the Syracuse Police Department.

The party came on the heels of a campus cluster caused by several Greek organizations that hosted parties in the first week of school. Syracuse’s chapter of Sigma Chi was placed on interim suspension for their party that violated public health directives.

University policy states that an individual or group that has violated the school’s COVID-19 guidelines may face immediate interim suspension, followed by a process on the merits of the case.

Based on The Tab’s Instagram story, many people were upset about the apparent lack of action taken against the athletes involved, despite multiple violations of school rules and state public health laws. Wildhack’s email made no mention of consequences, only that he was disappointed, and that this behavior would not be tolerated.

Syracuse athletes host a maskless party as cases spike one week into classes.

“Let me be very clear. This behavior is unacceptable,” Wildhack said in his email. “It violates the Stay Safe Pledge and jeopardizes the health of our campus community. Gathering like these have proven to be a source of COVID-19 super-spreader events.

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

The Tab also alleged that the gathering was hosted by members of the Orange football team, and that students leaving the party drove under the influence, although this information is still unconfirmed.

The university has not released a statement condemning the party in the same way officials responded to parties hosted by Greek life. This article will be updated as new information becomes available.

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is the Sports Lead Producer for The NewsHouse.