Vomiting rugby player sparks team's withdrawal

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The Independent Online

A university suspended its rugby team from fixtures today after a vomiting player brought a bus to a standstill on the way home from an initiation ceremony.

The incident at the University of Gloucestershire comes a month after footage emerged showing its students involved in a humiliating induction ritual, presided over by a figure wearing a Nazi-style uniform.



The video sparked outrage as a male in peaked cap and armband appeared to force first years to drink alcohol while wearing plastic bags over their heads.



Now the university is again dealing with students who have "let themselves down" after an initiation.



Appalled passengers on the Stagecoach 94 service from Cheltenham to Gloucester had to get off the bus when one of three students was sick.



Director of communications Paul Drake said: "A small minority of our students seem to think such poor behaviour is acceptable. They have let themselves, their fellow students and the University down.



"The students were on their way home from a sports initiation ceremony involving members of the rugby club.



"As a result, the University has discussed the matter with the Students' Union and it has been agreed to withdraw the rugby club from all fixtures and associated activities pending a full investigation into their conduct."



James Durant, president of the Students' Union, said: "As has always been our view, the Students' Union does not support behaviour like this.



"Despite continual warnings, a very small number of our students continue to act in inappropriate ways.



"The Students' Union is left with no alternative but to withdraw the Rugby Club from fixtures for the foreseeable future whilst we find out more information about this incident."



Passenger Tamsin Turner saw the students on the street at 9.45pm on Thursday.



The 33-year-old mother told the Gloucestershire Echo: "It was disgusting. Three students got on in Cheltenham, two were clearly very drunk, and one was sober. One of the drunk students said it had been the rugby club's initiation."



One of the trio began talking incoherently to the driver, before slumping in a seat, being sick on himself.



Passengers had to get off and waited up to 30 minutes for another bus after the episode.



In November 2006, first-year Exeter student Gavin Britton died from alcohol poisoning after drinking four vodkas, three pints of cider, a glass of wine and a pint of spirits as part of an initiation to join Exeter University's Golf Club.



Many universities - including Gloucestershire - have banned initiations on campus.

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