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Final Club Closed After Recruit Is Beaten in Fight

High School Senior Required Surgery

By Jonathan A. Lewin

A high school senior recruited for the Varsity football team was severely beaten in a fight with a team player at the D.U. final club a month ago, the recruit and other players said yesterday.

The D.U. was closed Wednesday for a one-month "cooling-off period," D.U. Vice President David M. Sprinkle '96 said yesterday.

Louis I. Kane '53, the president of the D.U.'s graduate board, said even after the club reopens, it will shut down at 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights for the remainder of the academic year.

John Burnham, a star quarterback from Washington, D.C., was taken to the club to "show him a good time" on his recruiting trip, according to players.

But at the end of the evening he and linebacker Sean Hansen '95 became involved in a fight. Burnham was beaten so severely that it required surgery to fix a blow-out fracture to his left eye.

Hansen went before the Administrative Board and was put on disciplinary probation Tuesday, according to Varsity football Captain Justin Frantz '96.

In interviews yesterday, students gave different accounts of what happened at the D.U. four weekends ago.

Burnham and one football player who asked to remain anonymous said that it was Hansen and others started the fight.

According to Burnham, all parties involved had consumed significant quantities of alcohol. During the evening, Burnham entered into dis putts with Hansen and another unidentifiedstudent over issues such as whether or not Burnhamhad left his jacket in an upstairs room andwhether or not he had a big mouth.

Burnham left the club feeling "verballyabused," he said, and decided to return in orderto confront Hansen.

"When I cam back into the club to have wordswith Hansen, soon a I walked in I was hit,"Burnham said.

"I'm no angel," he said. "And I did return tothe club, but I didn't expect to be jumped on."

Burnham, who submitted a statement to the AdBoard, said that roughly five Harvard studentsattacked him when he entered DU for the secondtime.

Hansen declined to comment on them matteryesterday.

"There was an entire investigation by theUniversity," he said. "I don't want to make publicwhat should be confidential."

Hansen said he had not used excessive force,but refused to elaborate.

But other players and DU members includingSprinkle, asserted that Burnham himself initiatedthe fight.

"He wasn't attacked, he was attacking,"Sprinkle said. "He was asked to leave the club andescorted out, then he barged back in, wastrespassing, and started the fight by charging atSean."

Most football players were unwilling to discussthe matter in detail, saying that only two orthree team members had been in the club at thetime of the incident.

One player who spoke at length on the conditionof anonymity said that the recruit was a "cockykid" who got into an argument with Hansen, leftthe club, and then returned and "took a swing" atHansen.

"Then everyone went at him and he got theliving daylights kicked the shit out of him," thefootball player said.

Dean of the College L. Fred Jewell '57 saidlast night that he is very concerned about theincident, but stressed that the University has noties to the final clubs.

He said that he had notified the trustees ofthe club about the incident. "We asked them ifthey could try to prevent these sorts of thingshappening," Jewell said.

Jewell said he could not comment on any actionthe University has taken or will take with respectto Hansen or other students.

Sprinkle said Jewell or Dean of Students ArchieC. Peps III had talked to the D.S.'s graduateboard, but refused to say whether the closing ofthe club was related to the fight.

"Willie Kane, our graduate board president,told us to refer calls about this to him,"Sprinkler said yesterday.

Kane, the founder and co-chair of Au Bon Pain,said that the graduate board,, comprised of about15 members, had felt compelled to close the club.

"We felt a strong message had to be given toour undergraduates and the members of final clubsgenerally that this conduct is not acceptable,"Kane said.

He said that had the club's regulations beenfollowed, there would have been on incidents.

"The clubs have rules," Kane said. "Number one,freshmen don't come in. Number two there are nounqualified guests."

He said he is sure there is "a lot ofunhappiness" among the club's 40 members, but that"even though it is spring and senior year, thisconduct is not acceptable."."

He did not know of any similar fights in theD.U.'s history, he added.

Kane said he had not formed an opinion onwhether individual members were guilty, but thathe has confidence in Jewett and the Ad Board.

"I heard from [Associate Dean of HarvardCollege] Thomas A. Dingman '67 that two peoplewere placed on probation," he said. "I have faithin the disciplinary procedure."

Football

Recruits are usually taken to a club or two atsome point during their visit to campus becauseplayers want to introduce them to Harvard sociallife but do not want to risk being carded at alocal bar, players, said yesterday.

They said that many footballplayers--including Hansen--are in the D.U. andthat it is considered a choice destination forvisiting prefrosh.

Football Coach Tim Murphy said yesterday hecould not discuss the matter.

"I've been instructed to refer all calls aboutthis to our Director of Athletics Bill Cleary,"Murphy said.

Cleary did not return telephone calls to hishome and office yesterday.

"There was talk of us getting sued formillions," fullback Brian Cohen '96 said. "Justthink about it: getting an underage kid plastered,then assaulting him."

Murphy told the team not to let futureincidents occur, players said.

"The coach made an announcement to players oneday after workout," Frantz said. "It was a shortstatement, just saying guys know what can happenwhen they get drunk late at night and they shouldbe careful."

"They told us not to think we're protected,"tight end Matthew J. Gargulinski '96 said, "thatwe should be careful."

One football player said that the incident cameat a bad time for the team.

"With Justin Frantz, our captain, getting adboarded for taking on a parking meter on aSaturday night, this couldn't come at a worsetime," he said.

Frantz said that the two events, however, wereunrelated.

The Recruit

Burnham, who attends the private Landon Schoolin Bethesda, Md. said that the night at D.U.changed his life.

"I've actually had nightmares about ithappening again," he said. "I'm a fairly big guyand that's some thing that's not normal. It scaresme."

Burnham's father Richard, who graduated fromHarvard Law School in 1961, said he was bothdisturbed and outraged by the matter.

"I was in Hong Kong, I got the first plane backwhen I heard my son had been hurt," he said.

Both son and father have been in contact withHarvard's coaches and deans.

John Burnham said he was told be the Collegethat 18 members of the D.U. alleged that he hadinitiated the fight.

"They all said that I had given Hansen a blackeye, that they were just restraining me," JohnBurnham said.

But John Burnham said he walked in the door tofind a mass assault awaiting for him. The otherHarvard students, according to his father, mustbe fabricating a story to protect a teammate, hesaid.

"[T] here was never any talk [from witnesses]of John hitting anyone the day after it happened,"Richard Burnham said. "What really makes me upsetis that all these people are able to defame myson."

"I can't be sure whether [my son] wanted tofight with that one person," Richard Burnhamadded. "But did he want to fight with five.?"

"One high school senior being set upon by fiveseniors in college," he said, "what were they,afraid? It doesn't make sense."

Football players interviewed yesterday saidthat Hansen would not have caused a fight unlesshe were provoked.

"I know what has to happen for Sean to raisehis fist at anyone, especially a footballrecruit," said Patrick G. Hannon '96. "If he getsa bad rep [utation] for this thing, it'sunfair."

Frantz said that he had testified about Hansenat an Ad Board subcommittee meeting.

"Sean wouldn't do something like thatunprovoked," Frantz said.

D.U. members and football players interviewedsaid that they had tried to separate Hansen andBurnham as the fight occurred.

But they added that Hansen was not injured,although Burnham said he was told by Harvardofficials that D. U. members alleged he had givenHansen a black eye.

Burnham, who said he still has double visionfrom the fight, plans to withdraw his applicationto Harvard and hope to attend Princeton orDartmouth instead.

The story, however, is spreading beyondHarvard.

Ryan Miyamoto, a Germantown, Md. high schoolsenior who was contacted by Harvard as a footballprospect earlier this year, said he had heardabout the incident from Princeton's footballcoach.

"He told me that one of Princeton's recruitswas up at Harvard and got jumped," Miyamoto said.

One Ivy football coach expressed shock at theincident.

"If that happened here we wouldn't get awaywith it," he said. "It wouldn't be buried.

Burnham left the club feeling "verballyabused," he said, and decided to return in orderto confront Hansen.

"When I cam back into the club to have wordswith Hansen, soon a I walked in I was hit,"Burnham said.

"I'm no angel," he said. "And I did return tothe club, but I didn't expect to be jumped on."

Burnham, who submitted a statement to the AdBoard, said that roughly five Harvard studentsattacked him when he entered DU for the secondtime.

Hansen declined to comment on them matteryesterday.

"There was an entire investigation by theUniversity," he said. "I don't want to make publicwhat should be confidential."

Hansen said he had not used excessive force,but refused to elaborate.

But other players and DU members includingSprinkle, asserted that Burnham himself initiatedthe fight.

"He wasn't attacked, he was attacking,"Sprinkle said. "He was asked to leave the club andescorted out, then he barged back in, wastrespassing, and started the fight by charging atSean."

Most football players were unwilling to discussthe matter in detail, saying that only two orthree team members had been in the club at thetime of the incident.

One player who spoke at length on the conditionof anonymity said that the recruit was a "cockykid" who got into an argument with Hansen, leftthe club, and then returned and "took a swing" atHansen.

"Then everyone went at him and he got theliving daylights kicked the shit out of him," thefootball player said.

Dean of the College L. Fred Jewell '57 saidlast night that he is very concerned about theincident, but stressed that the University has noties to the final clubs.

He said that he had notified the trustees ofthe club about the incident. "We asked them ifthey could try to prevent these sorts of thingshappening," Jewell said.

Jewell said he could not comment on any actionthe University has taken or will take with respectto Hansen or other students.

Sprinkle said Jewell or Dean of Students ArchieC. Peps III had talked to the D.S.'s graduateboard, but refused to say whether the closing ofthe club was related to the fight.

"Willie Kane, our graduate board president,told us to refer calls about this to him,"Sprinkler said yesterday.

Kane, the founder and co-chair of Au Bon Pain,said that the graduate board,, comprised of about15 members, had felt compelled to close the club.

"We felt a strong message had to be given toour undergraduates and the members of final clubsgenerally that this conduct is not acceptable,"Kane said.

He said that had the club's regulations beenfollowed, there would have been on incidents.

"The clubs have rules," Kane said. "Number one,freshmen don't come in. Number two there are nounqualified guests."

He said he is sure there is "a lot ofunhappiness" among the club's 40 members, but that"even though it is spring and senior year, thisconduct is not acceptable."."

He did not know of any similar fights in theD.U.'s history, he added.

Kane said he had not formed an opinion onwhether individual members were guilty, but thathe has confidence in Jewett and the Ad Board.

"I heard from [Associate Dean of HarvardCollege] Thomas A. Dingman '67 that two peoplewere placed on probation," he said. "I have faithin the disciplinary procedure."

Football

Recruits are usually taken to a club or two atsome point during their visit to campus becauseplayers want to introduce them to Harvard sociallife but do not want to risk being carded at alocal bar, players, said yesterday.

They said that many footballplayers--including Hansen--are in the D.U. andthat it is considered a choice destination forvisiting prefrosh.

Football Coach Tim Murphy said yesterday hecould not discuss the matter.

"I've been instructed to refer all calls aboutthis to our Director of Athletics Bill Cleary,"Murphy said.

Cleary did not return telephone calls to hishome and office yesterday.

"There was talk of us getting sued formillions," fullback Brian Cohen '96 said. "Justthink about it: getting an underage kid plastered,then assaulting him."

Murphy told the team not to let futureincidents occur, players said.

"The coach made an announcement to players oneday after workout," Frantz said. "It was a shortstatement, just saying guys know what can happenwhen they get drunk late at night and they shouldbe careful."

"They told us not to think we're protected,"tight end Matthew J. Gargulinski '96 said, "thatwe should be careful."

One football player said that the incident cameat a bad time for the team.

"With Justin Frantz, our captain, getting adboarded for taking on a parking meter on aSaturday night, this couldn't come at a worsetime," he said.

Frantz said that the two events, however, wereunrelated.

The Recruit

Burnham, who attends the private Landon Schoolin Bethesda, Md. said that the night at D.U.changed his life.

"I've actually had nightmares about ithappening again," he said. "I'm a fairly big guyand that's some thing that's not normal. It scaresme."

Burnham's father Richard, who graduated fromHarvard Law School in 1961, said he was bothdisturbed and outraged by the matter.

"I was in Hong Kong, I got the first plane backwhen I heard my son had been hurt," he said.

Both son and father have been in contact withHarvard's coaches and deans.

John Burnham said he was told be the Collegethat 18 members of the D.U. alleged that he hadinitiated the fight.

"They all said that I had given Hansen a blackeye, that they were just restraining me," JohnBurnham said.

But John Burnham said he walked in the door tofind a mass assault awaiting for him. The otherHarvard students, according to his father, mustbe fabricating a story to protect a teammate, hesaid.

"[T] here was never any talk [from witnesses]of John hitting anyone the day after it happened,"Richard Burnham said. "What really makes me upsetis that all these people are able to defame myson."

"I can't be sure whether [my son] wanted tofight with that one person," Richard Burnhamadded. "But did he want to fight with five.?"

"One high school senior being set upon by fiveseniors in college," he said, "what were they,afraid? It doesn't make sense."

Football players interviewed yesterday saidthat Hansen would not have caused a fight unlesshe were provoked.

"I know what has to happen for Sean to raisehis fist at anyone, especially a footballrecruit," said Patrick G. Hannon '96. "If he getsa bad rep [utation] for this thing, it'sunfair."

Frantz said that he had testified about Hansenat an Ad Board subcommittee meeting.

"Sean wouldn't do something like thatunprovoked," Frantz said.

D.U. members and football players interviewedsaid that they had tried to separate Hansen andBurnham as the fight occurred.

But they added that Hansen was not injured,although Burnham said he was told by Harvardofficials that D. U. members alleged he had givenHansen a black eye.

Burnham, who said he still has double visionfrom the fight, plans to withdraw his applicationto Harvard and hope to attend Princeton orDartmouth instead.

The story, however, is spreading beyondHarvard.

Ryan Miyamoto, a Germantown, Md. high schoolsenior who was contacted by Harvard as a footballprospect earlier this year, said he had heardabout the incident from Princeton's footballcoach.

"He told me that one of Princeton's recruitswas up at Harvard and got jumped," Miyamoto said.

One Ivy football coach expressed shock at theincident.

"If that happened here we wouldn't get awaywith it," he said. "It wouldn't be buried.

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