The University of Delaware Men’s Rugby Club was informed Wednesday that it would be suspended for five years following a well publicized party that turned into a reported near riot. The club intends to appeal the decision.
The rugby team is being held accountable for the menacing party because two residents of the party venue, Anthony Ladisernia and Evan Touzzoli, were members of the rugby team, and word spread through Twitter that the party was a rugby party, which members of the club contend wasn’t the case. Ladisernia and Touzzoli have been expelled from the university.
“I feel horrible for these kids that I’ve talked into coming here to play at the University of Delaware – a great program, and this has befallen them. It’s a terrible feeling as a coach,” said Delaware coach Bjorn Haglid of the more than 70 players now without a team to play on.
“You want to see them thrive, play the game, make bonds and have a great college career while playing the sport that we love. It’s just heartbreaking.”
“I still hold firm that it was never a rugby event,” said team president Ian Combs. “This was a Monday night. Personally, I was watching the football game.
“I received a phone call that was informing me of a party. I cut them off right there. It’s not a rugby house. It’s a house where people on the rugby team live. It’s not owned by the rugby club or anything. I informed them it wasn’t a team function – we are not funding this event...I had no idea what was going to happen. No one did. I talked to a couple of my other [team] officers, my treasurer, and he heard about it from a third party.
“I still hold firm that it was never a rugby event.”
The decision, if upheld following the appeal, will see the Rugby East lose its second team to misconduct in the last several months. Army was suspended in the spring because of an email scandal.