UVM Rubgy at Odds with the Law

The UVM Men’s Rugby Squad is in jeopardy of having the rest of their season cut short after an alcohol-related incident which occurred on Saturday the 18th. Ten members of the team are facing alcohol-related charges after their van was pulled over by a state trooper in Warner, New Hampshire. Seven of the team members were arrested while three others received summons after being stopped on Interstate 89. Inside the van, Police found over 100 beer cans and about a dozen 40-ounce beer bottles. Of those, only a handful were actually open containers.

The team, 1-1 on the season, was on their way back from Rhode Island after a victory. Police were notified around 10 p.m. of individuals drinking at the Hooksett rest stop. The caller proceeded to call the police after noticing there were underage individuals drinking around the vans, which had Vermont license plates. After being pulled over the driver, Joshua Bierman offered to undergo a breathalyzer, but was denied this by the arresting officers.

The team, which usually has practices everyday is suspended from having any type of official gatherings until a UVM completes an inquiry into the incident. For now, the team is unable to organize in any type of official gatherings, which includes practices and meetings. This season the team was working with the school in an effort to become a recognized varsity sport.

Despite their boisterous past, the team this year was geared toward a more serious approach to the sport. Past traditions have included drinking alcohol on the way back from games. However, due to a more structured and dedicated program, the team was in the process of moving away from its disorderly past. Besides having practice each day, the amount of alcohol consumed by the players was cut significantly.

This included a no drinking policy for each day during the week, except on Saturday nights. For now, the team’s hard work and commitment remains in jeopardy with their remaining three games of the semester being forfeited until further notice from the university. Unfortunately, the team felt that, under the current circumstances, it would not be prudent to comment on the incident until the school makes a final decision.

However, many of the team-members expressed their disdain for how they felt they were unfairly portrayed as drunkards in the Burlington Free Press’s coverage of the story.