Following a trip to Fredericksburg, Virginia for a two-day soccer tournament, men’s soccer head coach Eddie Carrillo suspended six senior players and his two assistant coaches.
Since the suspensions were handed out, Chapman has lost two games and drawn another.
The assistant coaches – Robert Viviano and Alex Macias – and the players – goalkeepers Sean Augustine and Matt Deemer, defenders Kannon Kuhn and Lorenzo Belassen, midfielder Zev Gollis and forward Niko Arellanes – were suspended from the team through the Sept. 10 game against Colorado College.
Augustine was the only player who responded to a request for comment. He confirmed that he was suspended for a violation of team rules, but declined to specify further.
The suspensions, Carrillo said, included all team activities, including practices. Carrillo declined to disclose what portion of the team rules were violated. Carrillo also declined to provide a copy of the team’s rules. He said that while team policies and Chapman athletic policies are “intertwined,” the suspended parties only violated team rules.
The violations happened during the team’s trip over the weekend, but after the team’s last game against Methodist University on Saturday, Carrillo said.
Following the game against Methodist at 2:30 p.m. EST, the team drove to its hotel in Washington, D.C., after the game ended at about 5 p.m. After checking in at its hotel near the Washington Dulles International Airport – the name of which Carrillo declined to disclose – at around 7:30 p.m., the team went out to dinner, returning to the hotel between 10:30 and 11:00 p.m.
Carrillo said that every road trip has a curfew set in place, which is usually at around 11 p.m. and requires players to be in their rooms with the lights off.
The next day, Sept. 3, the team had a roughly 8:30 a.m. flight to return to Chapman. Senior midfielder Elliott Braund – the only senior on the trip who was not suspended – said the team left the hotel at 6:30 a.m. Carrillo said everyone on the team left for the flight at the same time.
Carrillo said he suspended the players on the following Monday, Sept. 4, after consulting, “everybody that needed to be involved,” including the director of athletics, Terry Boesel.
Boesel and the associate director of athletics and compliance, Doug Aiken, released a statement that said that the “matter (had) been handled internally,” and declined to comment further.
“It’s not like I’m making the decision,” Carrillo said. “We have our rules. And we all agree to the rules, and when you violate the rules you’re doing it to yourself more than I’m doing it.”
Carrillo says he does not know how he will prevent further violations.
“People just make mistakes. They make mistakes all the time. It’s like saying, ‘How do I prevent somebody from getting kicked out of practice if they break that rule?’” Carrillo said. “Sometimes, they’re having a tough day, or they don’t communicate about something. They’re supposed to make mistakes.”
He says he made the correct decision suspending the players and coaches and did not face backlash from them. They will return Sept. 13 against La Verne University.