BU Starts Men’s Hockey Task Force

By Jack McCluskey

Boston University has formed a task force to study the “culture and climate” of the men’s hockey team after two players were accused of sexual assault, university president Robert A. Brown announced Thursday.

“We will ask the task force to look at our program with fresh, impartial eyes to determine whether the culture of hockey at BU meets the high standards of our academic community,” Brown said in a statement. “If it does not, if the task force finds a culture where players are privileged or entitled or held to lesser standards, it will recommend changes to the way we think about and manage our hockey program.”

Brown said the creation of the task force should not be interpreted as taking a position regarding the alleged incidents involving former Terriers Corey Trivino and Max Nicastro.

In December, Trivino — who was drafted in 2008 by the New York Islanders — was arrested and charged with three counts of indecent assault and battery, two counts of breaking and entering in the nighttime and one count of assault with intent to rape. He is accused of entering a female student’s room and attempting to kiss and fondle her against her will, according to reports.

Nicastro — drafted in 2008 by the Detroit Red Wings — was arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a female student early Sunday. He was arraigned on two counts of rape Tuesday.

“Any determination about what transpired will be made by the judicial system,” Brown said. “Rather, the convening of the task force reflects a judgment that when two similar incidents occur within a season, it is incumbent on us to look closely to learn if there are broader systemic issues that need to be addressed.”

Brown said he agrees with the statements BU coach Jack Parker made to The Boston Globe earlier this week.

“I hope it’s a horrible coincidence,” Parker told the Globe. “I don’t want this to be the culture of our team, and if it is, we’ll change it.”

Said Brown: “I believe Coach Parker got it exactly right.”

The makeup of the task force will include faculty, staff and university trustees as representatives, according to the school statement.

“Having an excellent hockey program is a Boston University tradition but so, too, is demanding excellence from the young men who play the game,” Brown said. “BU has done both successfully in the past. With the help of the task force and the broader campus community, we’ll do so in the future, too.”

The Terriers, ranked No. 5 in the country, are 18-11-1 this season, and play two games at Vermont this weekend.