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Sources: Clemson Student “Hazed To Death”

ALLEGATIONS SWIRL IN TUCKER HIPPS’ INVESTIGATION … POLICE REFUTE HAZING CLAIM By FITSNews  ||  Students at Clemson University tell FITS the death of 19-year-old student Tucker Hipps was directly linked to fraternity hazing – not a benign early morning fitness event, as was initially suggested. All of Clemson’s fraternities have…

ALLEGATIONS SWIRL IN TUCKER HIPPS’ INVESTIGATION … POLICE REFUTE HAZING CLAIM

By FITSNews  ||  Students at Clemson University tell FITS the death of 19-year-old student Tucker Hipps was directly linked to fraternity hazing – not a benign early morning fitness event, as was initially suggested.

All of Clemson’s fraternities have suspended “new member education” pending a police investigation into Hipps’ death – which a coroner has determined was due to head injuries sustained during an unsupported fall from a bridge.

Hipps was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon – one of twenty-four fraternities at Clemson.  His fraternity brothers told campus police he had gone missing during a “group run” early Monday morning – and that they became worried when he missed breakfast.

Clemson police were informed of Hipps’ disappearance shortly before 2:00 p.m. EDT on Monday.  His body was found a few hours later.

“SigEp has a zero tolerance policy regarding hazing and is currently investigating these claims,” a statement from the fraternity read. “If foul play was involved in any way, Tucker’s fraternity will do everything it can to see that those responsible are brought to justice.”

Clemson is already facing a major lawsuit over hazing associated with its women’s soccer program. FITS exclusive report on that incident is available HERE.

Oconee County authorities moved quickly to downplay the hazing reports.

“There has been speculation and innuendo, especially on social media, regarding whether hazing played a part in the death of Tucker Hipps,” Oconee County sheriff Mike Crenshaw said in a statement. “So far, there has been no indication in the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office investigation that hazing played a part in the death of Tucker Hipps. Once again, the investigation is ongoing. Sheriff’s Investigators continue to work with Clemson University, the Clemson University Police Department and the Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity to determine the manner of death in this case.”

Crenshaw also asked anyone who was traveling in the vicinity of the Seneca River Bridge area between 5:30 – 6:00 a.m. EDT to contact his office.

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65 comments

aikencounty September 23, 2014 at 3:27 pm

Preppies killed another one.

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Goatsey September 23, 2014 at 3:31 pm

I remember a few years ago when Brad Land’s novel Goat was about to be released, Clemson tried to have it shelved because it revealed just how extreme hazing is at that university.

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vicupstate September 23, 2014 at 6:11 pm

I read the book and it wasn’t that extreme as I remember. I think he just saw a chance to write a book. I think the worst thing was he was told to squeeze a ‘turd’ with his hand while blindfolded, when it was actually a banana.

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Watch your shit here September 23, 2014 at 6:20 pm

nice. dude didn’t even read the book. way to call him out vic.

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Watch YOUR shit September 23, 2014 at 11:09 pm

How could you possibly know what someone did or didn’t read?

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Goatsey September 24, 2014 at 9:05 am

You’re right, it’s been a while since I read it. The psychological effects of his near death beating certainly made hazing experience seem a lot worse than it actually was, and that was pretty effectively conveyed in the novel. At least he didn’t die while pledging.

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vicupstate September 24, 2014 at 3:15 pm

If it were all true, it wouldn’t have been a “Novel’, now would it?

As I remember, the ‘hazing’ in the book, such as it was, was more of a peer pressure/mental nature. And who is to say, except him, what part was real and what part was fiction.

I don’t have a problem with what he wrote, just your description of it as 100% factual and the assertion that it is even in the same league with a death. A death which may or may not have been hazing related.

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taterhater September 23, 2014 at 3:33 pm

What, no jet-ski’s available? At least the klempsun soccer player lived.

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Truth: There's only The A & ? September 23, 2014 at 3:37 pm

It’s always amazing to me how often that the wagon’s are circled by these men of supposed character when something likes this happens in a fraternity from time to time. Instead of telling the truth, they run from it, like cowards.

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anonymous September 23, 2014 at 4:28 pm

Much like the legislators who profited from Bobby Harrell and from Jean Toal’s dirty play in February…. the wagons are circled by these [people] of supposed character….until a real investigation takes place.

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The Colonel September 23, 2014 at 3:50 pm

As a SIgEp from a thousand years ago this smells.

He went missing from an early morning run and no one looked for him until 2:00?
If one of my soldiers falls out of a run he’s either picked up (if he’s hurt to bad to continue) or his battle buddy falls back and runs with him – you don’t “go missing” from a group run.

Will’s sensationalist headlines aside, this looks like it is going to be another one of those “boys at play” issues that involves neither “boys” or “play”. One day we’ll learn – or we won’t.

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Group run/swim September 23, 2014 at 4:12 pm

The word is that once on the bridge they were told to dive in and swim across.
By the time that everyone was across they were exhausted and continued to make their way to campus, now separated by wide distances. Apparently they were not all out far enough, that is beyond the rocks into diving depths and he hit his head. Since it was dark and they were all swimming nobody knew he wasn’t there until they were back. If what I am hearing is true they went back to look for him, someone saw his body underneath the surface, 4 feet deep from straight above is not out of the unlikely, and they called the police. Now it sounds like there could be a coverup by the brothers and pledges. This is all just rumor.

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The Colonel September 23, 2014 at 5:47 pm

Multiple stories I’ve heard from students are backing your version of events and the facts seem to support it as well. Apparently they had run across the bridge away from campus then planned to have them jump in and swim back. That explains why he was found on the YMCA beach side of the bridge. What no one seems to be able to explain is why they didn’t report him missing when they discovered he didn’t make it to the far side. If they didn’t check to make sure every body got across safely they’re just to stupid for words – of course that pretty much describes this whole thing. The exercise could have been done safely with about thirty seconds worth of clear thinking. There is no excuse for how this played out – if there is evidence that they knew he had drowned and did not report it there needs to be some jail time.

Sadly the young man is ultimately responsible for his own demise. He chose his “friends” and he chose to go along with something so utterly stupid that it defies logic.

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Will Folks aka Sic September 26, 2014 at 4:29 pm

Colonel … you have an information request that came through our tip line. If you would like to answer it, please send us your info through the tip line and we will put you in contact with the individual. If not, no worries.

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The Colonel September 26, 2014 at 4:30 pm

Be happy to try to answer it

Will Folks aka Sic September 26, 2014 at 4:29 pm

Colonel … you have an information request that came through our tip line. If you would like to answer it, please send us your info through the tip line and we will put you in contact with the individual. If not, no worries.

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ladycock September 23, 2014 at 3:57 pm

There MUST be stronger alum support (babysitting) for fraternities. Otherwise, you have an “organization” run by teenaged boys. Incongruous would be the word that comes to mind.

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IFC September 23, 2014 at 6:01 pm

Can’t speak to others but there’s serious oversight and strong alum support in my Clemson Fraternity. There was 40 years ago and it continues to this day.

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IFC September 24, 2014 at 7:26 pm

I thought about your comments a bit today. You couldn’t be further from the truth. No nationally organized social group would risk its legacy on a group of “teenaged boys” left to manage themselves alone. They would not risk their financial standing either. And all Fraternities receive donations and sponsorship, financial, supervisory, voluntarism, and active participation in Alumni groups, Foundations, and the like from men who are wildly successful in business, law, medicine and other fields. Why would they risk their reputations and waste their time?

You obviously don’t know much about the organizational structure of Fraternities, their roles, and their contributions to young men.

Young men aged 18-24 don’t need “babysitting.” They need advice, counsel, positive role modeling, and a host of other character building and experience enhancing contributions from Alumni groups.

The incongruity is on you.

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ladycock September 25, 2014 at 10:20 am

You were obviously in a well-run respectable Clemson fraternity and most likely involved in the Interfraternity Council. My husband is a member of a fraternity and I too was a member of a national Sorority and understand the importance of alum support. I’m just saying as an alum, I would not support mandatory running for pledges in the dark of the morning.

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VoiceofReason September 23, 2014 at 4:04 pm

It cant be true, this school is in the ACC

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CSI September 23, 2014 at 4:12 pm

Every reason in the galaxy to cover up it being a hazing. Serious and expensive black eye.

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Bluto September 23, 2014 at 4:25 pm

Preppy on Preppy Crime!

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Guest September 23, 2014 at 5:10 pm

Wow – I suppose the moderator did not like some of the comments being received and deleted them since it did not fit the “theory” of mischief.

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VoiceofReason September 23, 2014 at 5:26 pm

Idiots, again!!! Let the facts play out. No one has talked to Fits. Quit making up more than there is.

Fits is the most irresponsible news site ever. It’s become second nature for Fits to either make stuff up or stretch the truth.

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billy bob ted September 23, 2014 at 9:24 pm

By all means, lets let the cover up, I mean facts, come out first.

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vicupstate September 24, 2014 at 4:39 am

By all means, let’s assume the worst and believe every rumor.

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billy bob ted September 24, 2014 at 12:08 pm

or by all means blindly ignore things that in anyway cast a dark shadow on such a “good” institution, and pass everything off as only rumors. If it were a sports related incident we would wait until we heard what the excuse the boosters want to be said and everyone just repeats that word for word, like a chant sheet.

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vicupstate September 24, 2014 at 3:08 pm

Nobody said to ignore anything. Let Law Enforcement do their job. Do you really think they can do so in 12 hours?

Would you like it if someone spread rumors about you? I assure you, EVERYTHING being said is not true, even if some of it, or even most of it is.

ladycock September 25, 2014 at 10:04 am

Clemson Police Dept is and has always been a joke. Don’t count on good detective work here

piphitiger September 25, 2014 at 8:14 pm

Oconee police are investugating, not Clemson police.

SCBlues September 23, 2014 at 5:50 pm

What a terrible, terrible tragedy. College kids will do some stupid, stupid things. Just a terrible tragedy all the way around.

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ladycock September 23, 2014 at 5:54 pm

IF the pledges were required to run at 5:30 in the morning, then it’s hazing. And murder charges are in order.

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The Colonel September 23, 2014 at 6:01 pm

Monday’s and Wednesdays at 0530-0600 you’ll find 200+ young men and women out running at USC. Like this young man they are “required” to be there but in reality, they are there of their own free will. If he was pushed, or intentionally mislead into jumping into a known unsafe location you could probably win a manslaughter case.

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ladycock September 24, 2014 at 7:01 pm

“required” by who?

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The Colonel September 24, 2014 at 7:55 pm

The three ROTC programs on campus.

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ladycock September 25, 2014 at 10:05 am

But the victim was not in ROTC.

? September 23, 2014 at 6:21 pm

Transvestite?

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Guest September 24, 2014 at 7:21 pm

A little PT in the morning is not hazing, the military does it, ROTC does it, heck even JROTC does it. It helps to keep those folks in shape.

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gm5425 December 18, 2014 at 9:08 pm

If all of the pledges were out running as a group at 5ish in the morning, it wasn’t a “voluntary group activity”. In my fraternity days, it was called a line up. We were woken up in the middle of the night and required to run to a city park 2 miles from campus. There we were required to do push ups and asked questions about the fraternity and it’s history. Any wrong answers were dealt with quickly and severely…leaving the imprint of the greek letters which were engraved into the paddles. After the lineup we had to run back to campus, shower, eat breakfast and go to class. Someone knows what happened and if they have an ounce of decency in them, they will come forward and give the parents some closure.

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uh oh September 23, 2014 at 9:13 pm

They are also being investigating for putting the date rape drug in girls drinks. No, they are covering up.

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Guest September 23, 2014 at 9:28 pm

The drug found in that girl’s system was adderal, there is no further investigation there.

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Responsible Reader September 23, 2014 at 10:00 pm

The author of this piece should be ashamed of him or herself – using the phrase “hazed to death” to attract readers without any facts or legitimate testimony is irresponsible journalism and disrespectful to Tucker Hipps, his family, and his friends. The police and the witnesses agree that hazing was NOT a part of Tucker’s death. Furthermore, the run was a university-sanction team-building event. Any additional and inflammatory claims about hazing are not only a poor reflection on this website and its affiliates, but also a despicable attempt to manipulate the emotions of grieving bystanders.

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Cat Mandoe September 23, 2014 at 10:20 pm

Please show us where Clemson University sanctioned this 5:30 AM run and swim event, as you state. Thank you.

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easterndumbfuckistan September 24, 2014 at 8:38 am

You’re new around these parts of the web aren’t you.

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ladycock September 24, 2014 at 7:04 pm

Real news doesn’t get reported by college campuses because it’s bad for recruiting top students.

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Anon October 25, 2014 at 11:25 pm

According to a document I downloaded from the SigEp national website “purposeless runs to build unity” is on THEIR list of activities they consider as hazing. Tucker was very much hazed to death!!

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George Appley September 23, 2014 at 11:08 pm

You are a real fear-mongering son of a bitch, aren’t you? I suspect your father was a bachelor.

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Squishy123 September 23, 2014 at 11:09 pm

Frat boys and running? That’s a red flag right there. If they run they’re going to sweat, if they sweat they’re going to get sweat stains on their $90 yellow long sleeve Polo shirt and that’s just not going to happen.

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George Appley September 23, 2014 at 11:10 pm

Are you serious? What were you, a GDI? Sorry, pal. Still rejected. From everything, I suspect.

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navy060923 September 28, 2014 at 8:18 am

George, I don’t agree with Squishy’s comments, but your juvenile comment about about GDI’s and “still rejected” is part of the reason people have a problem with frats. I’m a Clemson alum, didn’t rush, didn’t want to, couldn’t have even if I wanted to, and damn well not rejected by ANYONE! My father died when I was 17, so I had to pay my way through college working 2 jobs. Raised by a US Navy vet and Clemson alum who taught me to accept and befriend fellow man, regardless of fraternal or socioeconomic background.

Not only did I have friends in multiple frats, I was invited to multiple frat parties all 4 years, went when I could, but I also had friends who were GDIs.

Signed,
Proud GDI

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George Appley September 23, 2014 at 11:13 pm

Well since my comments were deleted, let me say again: What a load of crap. Get the facts, Will. You’re writing the same stuff that’s on your two-ply paper from this morning. Get some facts, pal, then report — you know, like a journalist.

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CNSYD September 24, 2014 at 8:18 am

The term “journalist” is not to be used in the same sentence as Will Folks aka Sic Willie.

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clemsonalum September 23, 2014 at 11:44 pm

Its impossible for anyone to fall from the bridge given the height of
the wall around it. That leaves two options, he was either pushed off or
he was told to jump

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Thomas September 24, 2014 at 6:26 am

Quite frankly, I see a pattern in how a County Coroner and County Sheriff work together to fraudulently manipulate causes of death for favorable outcomes. By favorable, I mean big insurance payouts or hiding a crime. In Kershaw a few years ago, a business owner, with well known family with ties to LE was going bankrupt. A single car accident involving the owner of the business was NOT ruled a suicide resulting in a big payout for the survivors. In Oconee, for the Sheriff to state no foul play that is backed up with, let’s say a corroborating coroner’s report, exonerates all involved shielding Clemson from a wrongful death law suit. Death certificates, causes of death are passed around our county Sheriff office like incident reports. Very troubling to have deputies handle death certificates. Very powerful influence to control a crime scene, the coroner’s repirt, and subsequent results in determining culpability in a crime or a decision in an insurance payout.

To have a County Coroner work out of the Sheriff Department is bovine sewage.

If you can’t trust an autopsy report what can you trust?

Coroners should work out of hospitals with NO fucking ties to any police department!

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Guest September 24, 2014 at 7:18 pm

Everything you just said is based on absolutely no evidence. Just because these things don’t come out how you want/expect them to, doesn’t mean everyone involved is conspiring for a certain outcome

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navy060923 September 24, 2014 at 7:00 am

As a parent of a college student, it frightens me to think of her being harmed in any way, much less receiving a call that my child had died.

We see college athletes receive attention and press, because their extended “athletic” network would light up social media in a heartbeat if something tragic happened to them.

I have seen the same grandiose support for young men and women, who were members of fraternities/sororities ans their families, who have been permanently disabled or died tragically.

My heart breaks for ANY family who has to go through this.

Almost 1 month ago, a female Clemson student died tragically due to an infection. Her parents were helpless as the doctors were unable to save her. Her life is and was just as important as the young man whose life ended tragically in recent days. He deserves to be remembered, and his family deserves support. Unfortunately, this young girl did not receive the same outpouring from Clemson students nor did she have USC students wearing orange to remember her.

As a society we need to value life, we need to value people and support one another equally, regardless of athletic prowess or fraternal affiliation.

Would your child’s life be honored at their respective university, if they were just the average college student? I don’t think they would be. I don’t think my average daughter would be.

We can do better.

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Tomocchio September 24, 2014 at 7:56 am

The truth will come out it may just take a few days. Liability here is a fine line.

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CNSYD antagonist September 24, 2014 at 8:58 am

This is not unique to Clemson, to state the obvious. It must be a growing problem this
year, because Clemson’s Student Affairs Vice President Gail disabatino lamented,
“There has been a high number of reports of serious incidents involving fraternity activities, ranging from alcohol-related medical emergencies to sexual misconduct.” That, combined with Clemson’s recent history of bizarre student deaths and murders, makes you wonder why so many people think their kids would be safer at Clemson that USC. Those bizarre deaths and murders include: Brooke Holsonback (strangulation – 1997), Tiffany Souers (strangulation – 2006), Assistant Track Coach Jarrett Foster (jet ski accident – 2006), Benjamin Garrison Sprague (acute alcohol poisoning – 2007), Marc Anthony Cocozzella (thrown from moving truck bed in car accident – 2007), Tyler Jacob
Karolczyk (blood alcohol level of .267 – 2011), Steven Grich (shooting death – 2012), and Virginia Gilliam (Urinary Tract Infection -2014). A similar list of USC student deaths could
probably also be compiled. The point is that Clemson sells itself as some sort of safe haven in the hills when in fact those who live and work on its campus seem to befall their share of tragic death. It’s just an ordinary college campus – nothing special.

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Billy Ocean September 24, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Sounds like an unfortunate accident. If you didn’t jump off Isaqueena Dam while at Clemson, you missed out, and this could have happened to anyone who walked out on that dam.

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gm5425 December 18, 2014 at 9:10 pm

If a person jumps of their own free will, that’s one thing. If a young man jumps because it’s required for entry into the fraternity, that’s hazing. Hazing is illegal and if his death was a result of hazing, people could go to prison and the national fraternity could be held liable. Plenty of reason for fraternity members to withhold the truth.

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ladytiger September 25, 2014 at 2:29 pm

of course ladycock thinks everything about Clemson is stupid, like the police department, not because she has any direct knowledge but because she is a fan of a rival football team. No one knows what happened to this young man. Let the autopsy results come back, let the investigation be done. and keep in mind when you guys are typing that Tucker is the only child of two grief stricken, devastated parents. If all 30 of those kids saw what happened, it will come out. My thoughts and prayers to his family.

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THE VOICE FROM HEAVEN October 6, 2014 at 11:24 pm

We will know the truth before this is over. No one guilty will escape.

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gm5425 December 18, 2014 at 9:01 pm

Is the sheriff really dumb enough to think this isn’t the result of hazing?

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Fred Atkinson October 18, 2015 at 12:49 pm

As a person who was seriously injured in a hazing incident, I can say that I am appalled at how little students take the dangers of hazing. It is a ticking time bomb waiting to go off. The number of hazing deaths is staggering. Only six U.S. states have failed to pass laws outlawing hazing. I am glad to say that South Carolina is not one of them. These students should be facing felony charges as the classmates of Robert Champion (drum major in Florida) ultimately did. Hazing is deadly! I am glad that Clemson University is taking swift action to stop hazing on their campus.

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