Cuth’s Rugby Banned after Jimmy Savile social

Christian Smith

Cuth’s Men’s Rugby Club appeal unsuccessfully against a term-long playing ban

St. Cuthbert’s Society has upheld its decision to ban its Men’s Rugby Club from competitive matches this term after an unsuccessful appeal was made to the university. 

The ban was imposed in the wake of a social organised by the club on Thursday 25 October starting in Cuth’s bar that toured the bars of the hill colleges St. Aidan’s, Grey and Van Mildert. Grey issued a complaint about the behaviour of the social after a plant pot was broken and a member of the Cuth’s team set off a fire alarm.

The social adopted a theme based around disgraced BBC presenter Jimmy Savile as part of an annual ‘current affairs’ social, with the topic chosen traditionally of a tasteless nature. The freshers were dressed as young girls, while the second years wore Jimmy Savile costumes and the third and fourth years came as BBC Panorama reporters and law enforcement officers.

According to the college, the Rugby Club had surrendered their privilege to play after not demonstrating behaviour consistent with accepted values and principles.

Alongside the ban each participant has been fined £50 each, with proceeds going towards the upkeep of the Society’s garden. The social secretaries and club captain will serve 20 hours of community service. Though their initial ban from Cuth’s bar has been lifted, the players have been indefinitely barred from Grey College bar.

As a result of this decision Cuth’s A and B teams, who both compete in the college rugby premiership, will remain banned for the remainder of the term from playing any matches in the league or the Floodlit Cup.

The Club had appealed to the university against their college’s ban because they felt that they had “been unfairly treated compared to another student” (as stipulated on page 32 of the College Handbook). The appeal was made on the grounds that a day after the Cuths’ social, the Hatfield Darts Team had gone on a social with a similar theme and had received one-hour community service as punishment.

However the university rejected the appeal on the grounds that they did not provide sufficient evidence that the Hatfield case was comparable to theirs. Nor did the university consider that they proved the Hatfield team’s punishment was right and thus could be used as a benchmark measure.

One member of Cuth’s rugby declared himself “disillusioned with the appeals process”. He claimed that after their request to appeal was received by Cuth’s Vice Principal, Sharon Richardson, the Rugby Club were not consulted at any point during the process and were not given a chance to put forward their argument personally.

He also considered the club to have been unfairly used to make an example of. “Playing bans are unprecedented. Other colleges such as Hild Bede have had numerous disciplinary hearings, while the university rugby club DURFC have been involved in several serious incidents that have not resulted in playing bans. Would DURFC ever be banned from playing? Absolutely not,” he argued.

The decision to ban the club was met with approval from some members of the student body. One observer commented on the Durham Feminist Forum‘s facebook page, “wow, I’m impressed that it’s being taken seriously, didn’t expect anything to be done”.

  • Matthew McGraw

    They're all just silly arrogant boys. They deserve to be banned, Durham is meant to be one of the UK's most prestigious universities steeped in tradition and honour.

    These rugby lads think they can trample over all of us "scopes" because theyre bigger, and more popular. Maybe this will teach them to strut about town like big dogs all the time.

    • FATHEAD

      Shut up mate you're boring

    • Big dog

      Someone's got a chip on their shoulder…

    • Philip Kilby

      Boring!

      What are "scopes?" and when has someone ever called you that?

  • Matthew McGraw

    They're all just silly arrogant boys. They deserve to be banned, Durham is meant to be one of the UK's most prestigious universities steeped in tradition and honour.

    These rugby lads think they can trample over all of us "scopes" because theyre bigger, and more popular. Maybe this will teach them to strut about town like big dogs all the time.

  • TheBullied

    hear hear.. from my black eye

  • Welcome Drinks

    Total rubbish this ban. Distasteful social yes but is one idiot breaking a flower pot and some idiot setting off the fire alarm enough to ban a whole rugby club? I think not.

    Cuths have been made a scape goat against drinking culture of all the university and colleges sports teams. They say it is because they want to stamp down on "initiations" or "welcome drinks" but next year when every team is starting a new season, lets see how many actually stop doing them. No one will. So what will the university do then? Ban everyone from playing any sport? Of course they won't, and when Cuths make an appeal against this, they will be told to be quiet. Totally unfair and total rubbish.

  • Welcome Drinks

    Total rubbish this ban. Distasteful social yes but is one idiot breaking a flower pot and some idiot setting off the fire alarm enough to ban a whole rugby club? I think not.

    Cuths have been made a scape goat against drinking culture of all the university and colleges sports teams. They say it is because they want to stamp down on "initiations" or "welcome drinks" but next year when every team is starting a new season, lets see how many actually stop doing them. No one will. So what will the university do then? Ban everyone from playing any sport? Of course they won't, and when Cuths make an appeal against this, they will be told to be quiet. Totally unfair and total rubbish.

  • anon

    #UUNNNAAAAYYYYYYYY

  • john

    YOLO

  • bill bryson

    I understand they did something wrong – obviously they were never going to get away with setting off a fire alarm in front of the porters or get away with intimidating people who work on the bars. – it can be funny, but it was stupid.

    Part of my problem with the ban is that If they had merely been a group of friends doing this, then there would have been less of an issue, and probably less punishment. The fact that they play in the same team does not mean that you should punish the whole institution.

    Anyone who has experienced college sports teams will know that the social side is very different from the playing side. Dont stop them playing rugby, ban them from bars, fine them, let them do community service, but let them play rugby. They are a good team and on the pitch show discipline and good sportsmanship so why take that away from them.

    As a member of another college team, i would rather play to them, and lose to them, then them not play at all.

  • bill bryson

    I understand they did something wrong – obviously they were never going to get away with setting off a fire alarm in front of the porters or get away with intimidating people who work on the bars. – it can be funny, but it was stupid.

    Part of my problem with the ban is that If they had merely been a group of friends doing this, then there would have been less of an issue, and probably less punishment. The fact that they play in the same team does not mean that you should punish the whole institution.

    Anyone who has experienced college sports teams will know that the social side is very different from the playing side. Dont stop them playing rugby, ban them from bars, fine them, let them do community service, but let them play rugby. They are a good team and on the pitch show discipline and good sportsmanship so why take that away from them.

    As a member of another college team, i would rather play to them, and lose to them, then them not play at all.

    • Neil Jenkins

      For a world acclaimed author you have remarkably bad grammar Bill.

  • bill bryson

    I understand they did something wrong – obviously they were never going to get away with setting off a fire alarm in front of the porters or get away with intimidating people who work on the bars. – it can be funny, but it was stupid.

    Part of my problem with the ban is that If they had merely been a group of friends doing this, then there would have been less of an issue, and probably less punishment. The fact that they play in the same team does not mean that you should punish the whole institution.

    Anyone who has experienced college sports teams will know that the social side is very different from the playing side. Dont stop them playing rugby, ban them from bars, fine them, let them do community service, but let them play rugby. They are a good team and on the pitch show discipline and good sportsmanship so why take that away from them.

    As a member of another college team, i would rather play to them, and lose to them, then them not play at all.

  • Simple simon

    Matthew McGraw – Sorry to point out the obvious, but Durham has maintained its standard as one of the best universities in the country for many years while these sorts of socials and welcome drinks are going on.

    If you want to maintain these 'traditions' of which you are so fond then there would be all out initiations and socials which, with the current university line, would get members expelled from the university.

    Please don't use the tab as a means to publicly declare you have an enormous chip on your shoulder.

    • Philip Kilby

      Hear hear!

  • Simple simon

    Matthew McGraw – Sorry to point out the obvious, but Durham has maintained its standard as one of the best universities in the country for many years while these sorts of socials and welcome drinks are going on.

    If you want to maintain these 'traditions' of which you are so fond then there would be all out initiations and socials which, with the current university line, would get members expelled from the university.

    Please don't use the tab as a means to publicly declare you have an enormous chip on your shoulder.

  • kieth Gue

    Cant wait to see what Cuths A does to the B league!!!

  • Dr. Unk Asaskunk

    going down, going down, Cuth's are going down!

    • Ivanna Poo

      Pretty sure there has been no mention of an attack on a member of any Bar Comm during the whole punishment /appeal process. Don't you think it's this type of gross exaggeration and vindictiveness that is causing such a ridiculous punishment?

      I'm sure we can all name various examples of far worse behaviour that have gone unpunished…it just strikes me that this is an easy case for the university to try and make an example of. The fact such an example will be ignored for the rest of the year and beyond makes it seem even more ridiculous than first thought.

    • Ivanna Poo

      Pretty sure there has been no mention of an attack on a member of any Bar Comm during the whole punishment /appeal process. Don't you think it's this type of gross exaggeration and vindictiveness that is causing such a ridiculous punishment?

      I'm sure we can all name various examples of far worse behaviour that have gone unpunished…it just strikes me that this is an easy case for the university to try and make an example of. The fact such an example will be ignored for the rest of the year and beyond makes it seem even more ridiculous than first thought.

  • Ivanna Tinkle

    @Simple Simon, I'm pretty sure it wasn't the breaking of a plant pot, more things like pinning a member of Bar Comm up against the wall by his throat because he stopped the social from stealing a darts board that did it.

    I'm sorry to see things go like this but, all in all, Cuth's were too big for their boots and needed a readjustment.

    @Kieth Gue – I'd rather see Cuth's work to improve the standard of Div 1, not just aim to break less talented rugby players in order to make a point.

    • Smashed

      "I'd rather see Cuth's work to improve the standard of Div 1"?

      You're overlooking the real shame of this verdict in that next year's Championship rugby outcome is already decided (to some extent), weakening the competitive nature of college teams wanting a shot at playing Premiership rugby.

      Sharon Richardson, what a massive bint.

  • Ivanna Tinkle

    @Simple Simon, I'm pretty sure it wasn't the breaking of a plant pot, more things like pinning a member of Bar Comm up against the wall by his throat because he stopped the social from stealing a darts board that did it.

    I'm sorry to see things go like this but, all in all, Cuth's were too big for their boots and needed a readjustment.

    @Kieth Gue – I'd rather see Cuth's work to improve the standard of Div 1, not just aim to break less talented rugby players in order to make a point.

  • Joel

    This University is like being back in Primary School. My friends in Newcastle/Sheffield/lots of other good Universities get away with murder compared to this. It's pathetic

  • We row when we want

    I heard it was Castle rowing….

  • Harry Hill

    Cuths should just be happy that they won't have to play me in the league next year. I'm definately going to have cemented my place in the team by then!!!

  • Castle Rowing

    @Ivanna Tinkle Cuths are too big for their boots? What about DURFC…!? Think I little bit of perspective is needed here!

  • Viper

    I feel sorry for the freshers involved. It would be very difficult for them to say no to the social as they try to ingratiate themselves in the club and college and now they're all stuck with a ban and a fine.

    • Social Sec

      I feel sorry for the social secs – stupid freshers should learn to handle their drink and not go setting off fire alarms

    • Philip Kilby

      If you don't agree with what the club asks you to do why would you be so desperate to fit into it? Freshers don't go on Jimmy Saville socials because they feel pressured to, they go because they think it's bloody funny.

      It's not social secs pressuring freshers to fit into their socials, it's social secs being pressured to provide socials that appeal to the freshers.

    • Old-Boy

      You have clearly never been in Cuths rugby or any rugby club for that matter. We loved the stupid shit you're tasked with as a fresher, it made you feel like one of the lads and no-one has to be pressured into anything. Don't talk about things you don't understand, you mug.

  • COBRA

    Kieth Who?

  • I P Knightly

    Anyone want some good reading check out this page on Facebook "Durham Feminist Forum‘s"

    These are the people that deserve to be "kicked out of uni" GET A LIFE!!!

    Cuth's boys we all think you are top lads!!!! Smash the life out of Div 1 and see you in the Prem soon.

    • Concerned

      You're attacking the forum for no apparent reason.. All they did was make a comment on the decision. What so should everyone who comments on overheard be "kicked out of uni"? Grow up.

  • kieth Gue

    @Ivanna Tinkle

    i wasnt being serious… i was pointing out the hilarity of the idea of one of the best sides in the university playing in the B-league, and consequently the ridiculousness of the punishment.

    Stop taking yourself so seriously

  • John Ford

    Kilby – stop posting comments as other people and give it a rest.

  • Josh Bayford

    Hatfield mixed lacrosse gets away with murder every week…

  • John Ford

    Who is pretending to be John Ford on this? Wan Kerr is this you? Grow up!

  • Anon.

    If anyone is seriously surprised by this then they shouldn't be, after all anyone who has had dealings with university management knows that they are heavy handed and don't listen to students, combine that with the fact that they are currently cracking down on drinking and initiations it is very easy to see how this ban came about. You just have to look at the alcohol policy signed off by university senate at the end of last year to see this, seen below:

    Recommendation 4: The Deputy Head of Colleges Faculty (Student Experience) should ensure through Colleges Board that all colleges have made appropriate entries into college regulations regarding club and society initiations.

    22.Initiations are ‘any incident whereby a student is expected to perform in order to gain credibility, status or entry within a club. This could include the consumption of alcohol, eating concoctions of various food stuffs and performing dangerous, illegal or humiliating acts.’ (Team Durham)

    23.Team Durham currently has a code of conduct which establishes a clear set of guidelines in relation to sports club initiations. The group welcomed the code of conduct and appreciate the positive steps being taken by Team Durham to prevent such initiations; however, the group noted that this code of conduct does not apply in all college regulations yet and could therefore be applied.

    24.The definition of initiations should also include ‘disorderly conduct causing serious damage to or on University property or premises’ and ‘Conduct which brings the University into serious disrepute’.

    25.The Deputy Head of Colleges Faculty (Student Experience) should ensure that all Colleges have appropriate regulations in place in order to deter students from taking part in such initiations.

    26.Colleges should make students aware that initiations, as defined above, may be identified as misconduct which, if considered serious, should be referred to the Senate Disciplinary Committee as an allegation of a major offence under University General Regulations IV – Discipline.

    In addition to this violence against bar staff and bar patrons is never acceptable and in my opinion deserves a harsh punishment, why the fines aren't going to the colleges affected is beyond me…maybe banning them from playing rugby for a term is harsh but it serves as an example to other clubs and it is something those involved will actually care about, which will seriously deter any club from doing anything like this again. The only thing I should say in Cuths' defence is that they were probably not aware of the harsher stance, or the new regulations enforced on colleges.

  • Friend of victims.

    Not sure why these commenters in support of the rugby club are also fine with the fact that they dressed up as both the perpetrators and victims of child abuse – that is both disgusting and triggering, and abuse is not something to make a joke/costume out of. Glad to see the ban has stayed in place.

  • Philip Kilby

    What do you mean disgusting and triggering? What’s ‘triggering’?

    Anything can be made the subject of a joke, it’s not insensitive or tasteless, it’s just how the world works.
    Making Jimmy Saville jokes doesn’t do anyone any harm, it just puts jimmy saville and his actions further into the “figure of ridicule” box.

    Before you mention it, being offended, doesn’t count as harm.

  • Sam Page

    #FuckItYOLO

  • Friend of victims.

    Nice to see my earlier comment seems to have been deleted, yet was obviously published at one point since it has been responded to.

    By 'triggering' (and I should probably have explained this, sorry) I mean that victims of abuse or rape can have an uncontrollable negative reaction to seeing depictions of their abuse, particularly if that abuse is being made into a joke. This is one of the reasons you get warning notices put on films etc, and warnings for graphic images or descriptions in a lot of online articles. People can have a reaction that can range between just feeling sick and upset to having a full on panic attack.

    I refuse you to defend yourself with 'it's just how the world works' – so are genocide, rape, child abuse, terrorism 'just how the world works' too? No, these things are horrible and we need to work to stop them happening. One of the ways to do this is to stop them being the punchline of jokes which DOES cause harm – it normalises them, trivialises them, and stops them being seen as the serious offenses they are.

    • thetab

      Sorry we are having technical problems with comments, particularly relating to ones which receive replies. I assure you there is no way we would delete your comment deliberately. Apologies, Jack Rivlin (tab team)

  • Charles Whitcombe

    What is Jimmy Saville?

  • Friend of victims.

    Lovely to see my comments being removed, nice to see where the Tab stands.

  • Friend of victims.

    Ok I'll take that last one back as it seems the Tab have been having problems with their comments system – something they really need to sort out as it's made them seem preeeetttty biased over the last day or two.

  • Charles Whitcombe

    The trevs barman should have tried a barrel roll?

    Seriously though, what is a Jimmy Saville?

  • Olly Greally

    Another point about this is that Cuth's rugby isn't just going to be affected for this season…this ban practically guarantees relegation for both their As and Bs sides, meaning that one of the university's best college sides won't be playing in the top division. Next year, any decent players in their first team from this year will probably try and play university rugby, or not even play at all, weakening them further. The second tier of rugby also may be potentially be ruined next year, with one promotion spot all but guaranteed for Cuth's A. If the university feels they should have a punishment, then fine, but throwing them out of the league affects more than just Cuth's rugby.

  • anon

    why does anyone care about college rugby anyway

  • DURFC

    This is all so college…

  • Pingback: Rugby club dress up as Jimmy Saville and his victims, don’t cause outrage | Planet Ivy

  • A VM student.

    This does nothing more than jeopardise both leagues next season – a very strong Cuth's A side competing in the lower league will mean that there is very little point in other college sides competing for promotion, as if Cuth's A, for a long time the strongest side in college rugby, are allowed to be demoted, then it will be a foregone conclusion as to who is promoted. A better punishment would be a social ban, and an allowance to play matches. Although as every match is being rained off currently it doesn't really matter.

  • Anon

    the journalism on here is fucking shocking

  • beth

    Clearly has nothing to do with the amount of it people drink…

  • ruth

    What percentage is it?

  • Ottilie Duffy

    Hahaha no one cares… nobody that’s fun is like, “I really hope this vodka has a low percentage! I would hate to get really drunk” What a barrel of laughs!

  • Mike

    Welly haven’t even been fined. Good fact hunting.

  • Confused

    The fine wasn’t £3k. The fine was £2k and court costs were £1,350.

    It might amount to over £3k, but saying the fine was that amount is incorrect. Why not concentrate on getting the facts right instead of trying to fit a joke in every paragraph?

  • Theo Retical

    whens it back in stock?

  • Big Dave

    nice one!

  • Vagos

    Very useful. Well done Amelie!

  • occupy network

    From Occupy London https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=495667910538315&id=124563204315456

    PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE USE

    Leicester student activist on trial accused of “#CopsOffCampus” ‘hate crime’ towards ex-cop security-guard.

    Alistair Robinson is to appear in court charged for allegedly elbowing a security guard on Wednesday 11 December 2013 during a sit-in at the University of Leicester, calling for fair pay for staff at the university. The trial is at Leicester Magistrate’s court today, Friday the 7th March at 2pm.

    Alistair Robinson, 24, was arrested on the 6th of February 2014 supporting a picket-line at the University of Leicester, almost two months after the alleged assault. Witnesses claim that during the sit-in, the defendant was not near Mr Monks, Head of Security at the university, at any time.

    There was also surprise at the timing of the arrest, only three days after it emerged that Mr Robinson had been nominated to run for Students’ Union President in the University of Leicester Sabbatical elections, and the same week that Robinson published an article in the University of Leicester student newspaper, condemning the university’s decision to withhold a full days pay to staff on strike for just two hours.

    Nina Trbojevic, a student at the university said, “Alistair had been in touch with police about his stolen bicycle, between December and his arrest. They knew where to find him, so why did they wait until February?”

    At a bail-hearing on the 21st of February, Robinson was informed by the Crown Prosecution Service prosecutor that the CPS had made a recommendation to police that the case be discontinued due to a lack of evidence. A provisional adjournment date was set for the 7th of March, pending response from Leicestershire Police. However, bafflingly this week, the defence were made aware that Leicestershire Police will be continuing with the case against Robinson; soon after it was discovered that Mr Monks, the security-guard making the accusation, has previously had a long career in the police, reaching the rank of Sergeant before becoming Chairman of the Leicestershire Police Federation.

    Oddly, the assault has been categorised as a “hate crime”. It is believed this relates to the police presumption that the protest was a ‘cops off campus’ demonstration, being on the same day as nationwide cops off campus demonstrations, called in response to the violence used by police towards student protesters at the University of London. Demonstrators at the fair-pay protest in Leicester held a number of banners, with only one of them referring to ‘cops off campus’, in solidarity with London protesters.

    The hearing is today at 2pm, Friday the 7th March at Leicester Magistrates Court, 15 Pocklingtons Walk, Leicester LE1 6BT.

    Press enquiries: defendeducationleics@gmail.com

    ENDS

  • Common Sense

    Hopefully this experience will force him to grow up and cut the militant crap.

    • Nippleless Cage

      While he is actually trying to help the students and staff by putting his ass on the line (in regards to a criminal record) and travelling to other uni campus’s across the country to assist with other peaceful protests (until the fuzz decide to be ball gargling cum buckets) ,what positive things have you done for your fellow man?
      Let me guess, a selfish inward looking life style with no regard for anything bigger than yourself unless it personally inconveniences you.
      Maybe you should start to give a shit rather than putting others down.

    • Real common sense.

      University of Birmingham won the Living wage this week with these tactics. You ‘grow up’.

    • ‘Rubin the banter bus’

      Hahaha I’m assuming this is some politically illiterate, careerist Labour Students waste of space like brad Marshall or Michael Rubin…

      You’d rather just use the su as a springboard for career instead of actually doing anything useful.

      Tit.

  • Dan Fahey

    Court was adjourned on account of Alistair’s solicitor’s firm being on strike as part of the day of action against legal aid cuts.

    There were also questions raised about the legality of how Alistair was identified, due to suspicious use of surveillance systems.

    We expect the next hearing to be on March 12, 10am.

  • Jessie

    He’s so hot!! xx <3

  • Jonathan Kerr

    It’s good to see The Tab actually maturing and not spilling sensitive information before official deliberations have taken place. If only such care had been taken two days ago.

  • anon

    shocking, unneccessary behaviour – hope the sabb gets suspended and the elections for the position are re-opened!

  • The Entire Student Body

    Finally something appropriate! if this goes through there might actually be some democracy and justice at our uni

  • ST

    LOL as if an elections committee can just decide to ‘rewrite the constitution’. They can’t. That’s why AGM exists.

    • Chris

      Actually…. You’re wrong.
      Had you ATTENDED the Agm, you’d have known they got moved into bylaws that have the ability to changed via student council ;)

      • ST

        So it’s not ‘rewriting the constitution’ at all is it.

  • Name and shame

    Cough *welfare sabb is in for it* cough

  • bloop

    I don’t know you and I thought this was pretty good! haha

  • jam

    mongo writes – ‘In consideration of the fact that UK, including Scotland, is able to produce sixteen times its per-capita share of the world’s best science, a strong and successful nation like ourselves would be foolish to sacrifice this position.’

    ‘Sixteen times it’s per – capita share of the worlds best science’

    I don’t understand how you can quantify ‘the worlds best science’? What do you mean by that?

    Can you also explain to me why English students wouldn’t be paying fees to study in Scotland?

  • Niall

    this is a cringe

  • mein fuhrer Salmon

    This be a troll article by the SNP?

  • Judge McNipples LLB LLM LLOL

    Lol it’s a surchage dumbass. Not everybody gets it harhar.

  • Jack

    how is it unrelated? That’s literally what happened.

  • Guest

    Exclusive scoop tends to point to good editorial skills

  • Map Man

    Nope- I think this is a news article about something that actually happened on a student media site. Not whatever you’d rather it meant.