Two members of the University of Washington men's crew team were kicked off the squad after admitting they had painted a gay slur on a teammate's fence.
"An inappropriate word was painted on a fence" in front of a 19-year-old teammate's house two weeks ago and coach Bob Ernst "took some very quick action and elected to remove those members for violating team rules," said Marie Tuite, the UW's senior associate athletics director.
"Hazing is inappropriate and certainly this action [by the two crew members] would fall under the category," she said.
Tuite said privacy rules prevented her from providing any information about the students who were removed from the team. She also couldn't say whether the two would be allowed to try out for the team next year.
According to a Seattle police report, a 19-year-old man called police on March 26 to report that a gay slur had been painted on his fence sometime during the night.
Although he didn't see who had painted the word in 3-foot-high letters, the man suspected he was targeted because he was sick and missed a crew practice the previous morning, the report says.
The victim also told police that he has spoken out against some of the more extreme forms of hazing that go on against freshmen on the team, and that this has caused friction between him and some of the team's other members, according to the report.