Goldhagen, York College wrestler expelled in hazing incident
Goldhagen, York College wrestler expelled in hazing incident

York College was wrong in expelling a student as a result of a recent hazing investigation into the wrestling team, an attorney representing the student alleges.

Michael Pileggi, an attorney based in Philadelphia, sent a letter to York College dean of student affairs Jospeh Merkle on Monday asking the school to expunge the expulsion from the academic record of Jeffrey Goldhagen.

Goldhagen was majoring in computer science in his senior year at York College and was coming off a 16-12 season last year wrestling at 184 pounds for the school. Pileggi said he believes Goldhagen was one of two student-athletes who were expelled by the school.

Wrestling program: The school had lifted an interim suspension of the wrestling program Nov. 8 following a 10-day investigation into hazing incidents. According to the school, a handful of incidents described as organized hazing rituals occurred off campus in the months of September and October. Some wrestlers were issued warnings, others were expelled as a result of violating the student-athlete code of conduct. The school is not allowed to identify the students involved or their discipline because the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act protects against the release of that information.

York College spokeswoman Mary Dolheimer could not be reached by phone but responded in an email, "We will not comment on student discipline matters due to FERPA."

Student's side: Pileggi said Goldhagen was not involved in any of the incidents and did not violate the code of conduct.

"Evidently the first day of practice the coach (Duane Bastress) came out and addressed the team. I don't know if he said exactly hazing, but said 'We have a zero tolerance policy,'" Pileggi said.

"My client, right after practice, went to the coach and had a discussion with him of 'This is what to expect, this is what's coming down the pike.'"

While Pileggi said Goldhagen wasn't involved in any of the hazing incidents, Goldhagen wanted to be a leader by helping the team and the coach by making the coach aware of what happened.

"Soon after he was called into campus safety, interviewed and expelled. In between he had a hearing -- a one-sided hearing -- and was expelled," Pileggi said.

Goldhagen was not given due process by the school, Pileggi said.

Pileggi wants the expulsion expunged from Goldhagen's student record so Goldhagen doesn't have trouble getting into another school.

-- Reach John Walk at jwalk@yorkdispatch.com.