Opinion | Nudity, assault, theft and suspensions at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps

How dumb can college students be? Ask the men’s track and field team of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.


Jacob Hutchinson, sports editor

According to the Claremont colleges’ student newspaper, The Student Life, six Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS) track and field athletes, some naked, entered Pomona College’s Rains Center for Sport and Recreation around 9 p.m. Feb. 3, stole a photo off the wall and assaulted a Pomona student who tried to stop them.

It sounds like a scene from “Animal House.” But rather than fraternity hazing, this was likely a part of the hazing process for CMS track and field athletes.

For those unfamiliar with the track and field hierarchy of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, CMS is top-ranked. Both its men’s and women’s teams have finished first in the conference every year since the 2013-14 season.

Meanwhile, Pomona-Pitzer generally sits in the top half of the conference, but it suffers to CMS every year. The last time its women’s team finished above CMS was in 1996, and the last time its men’s team finished above CMS was in 1991.

That’s less indicative of a rivalry and more of CMS’s longstanding domination over Pomona-Pitzer, and its need to rub that in – apparently with alleged nude theft and assault.

The best part of this story is that these athletes essentially share a campus. The Claremont colleges – Pomona, Pitzer, Claremont McKenna, Harvey Mudd and Scripps Colleges – allow students to take classes at each of the five schools, which border one another.

These aren’t rivals like the University of Redlands and Chapman, which are separated by an hour’s drive. If you’re a CMS athlete, you might have an academic class with your supposed rival at Pomona-Pitzer. It’s easy to imagine the CMS athletes running into the Pomona student they allegedly assaulted on campus – assuming they aren’t expelled.

The stupidity of this is astounding, and aside from the fact that these athletes allegedly assaulted another student, it’s hard not to laugh at the thought process.

These athletes had to plan out the logistics of this alleged nude theft and then decide that it was such an important task that they needed to assault another student to pull it off. And all this to prove what? That CMS is really, really good at track and field?

This is Division III track and field, not exactly the paragon of athletic competition.

On Feb. 8, both the men’s and women’s track and field teams were initially suspended. However, the women’s track and field team has been allowed to resume team activities.

It’s a reminder that even at the highest levels of education, you can aspire to be as dumb as some of the greatest professional athletes. Why be cliche like wide receiver Plaxico Burress, who shot himself in the leg in a nightclub and tanked his NFL career; or choke and punch your coach in the face like NBA icon Latrell Sprewell?

Instead, you can allegedly streak nude through a neighboring campus and hold down a student while you steal a picture from your “rival.” It’s an ingenious way to potentially ruin your future.

There’s an adage that goes something like, “If you catch your babysitter of 15 years stealing from you for the first time, what do you do?” You fire them, because it’s not the first time they’ve stolen from you – it’s the first time you’ve caught them.

It’s probably not the first time the CMS track and field teams have hazed – it’s probably just the first time they’ve been caught.

Leave a Comment