Ohio State lifts ban from topless women’s rugby

Isaac Eldridge

COLUMBUS, Ohio (U-WIRE) — Ohio State University officials and the women’s rugby team have finally settled the controversy behind an ill-fated weekend in Washington, D.C.
The team has been under scrutiny for a topless picture taken outside the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., Saturday. Vice President of Student Affairs, David Williams II, who originally placed the team under suspension from practice and two games, decided to overturn his ruling Wednesday after meeting with the team.
“The young ladies indicated to me that it was not all of them, it was 12 of them, and so based on that information I have lifted the suspension of the team,” Williams said.
He said he plans to meet individually with the 12 women who posed in the picture, but that there are still some minor details to be worked out in regards to any kind of punishment.
“I think they were very apologetic, they realize they did something that was an embarrassment to the university,” Williams said. “We’ll treat this as we go through it and try to help them grow and learn.”
Coach John Moore said the women presented a proposal to the university and it was accepted wholeheartedly.
“(The plan) includes the club performing a project, probably something to the effect of going to local high schools and talking to female athletes about the value of playing club sports at OSU and other colleges,” Moore said.
The club also plans to release a formal apology to the Ohio State community, the National Park Service and the U.S. Rugby Football Union, Moore said.
Although the university dropped the suspension of the team, they still are not allowed to play their last weekend of games this season, Moore said. The club is part of the Midwest Rugby Union, which is a sub-set of the U.S. Rugby Football Union. The Midwest Union placed the club under a suspension of their own and the women will not be allowed to play again until next spring, Moore said.
“We just want the whole situation to stand as it is now — resolved,” Moore said. “We will be back in the spring and everyone’s a little smarter because of all this. We realize we made a mistake at the wrong time at the wrong place and we are willing to make amends for that.”
Throughout the scandal, the club has been contacted by “Late Show with David Letterman” and “Inside Edition” but remained out of the limelight so as to settle the matter without any unnecessary glamour, Moore said.