Team trip ends in controversy

The cross country team’s trip to PEI in September ended with controversy when head coach Alex Coffin allowed students to not wear seatbelts on the drive home.

Athletics director Mike Eagles said he was extremely disappointed when he heard.

“I was shocked and very disappointed to find that out. I just found it hard to believe. You really can’t even picture something thinking that’s acceptable,” he said.

The cross country team was travelling back home from a meet in Charlottetown on Sept. 29. The team had taken three family vans, each seating seven people. Two students were allowed into an already-
full van and sat on the floor of the vehicle for the drive home.

Eagles was informed of the situation after the team returned. He said it’s the first time this has happened at STU.

“I’ve never heard of this happening before. We have travel policies. We’re in the middle of updating our policies, and this is one of those things that has now been clearly written in that this can’t happen.”

Alex Coffin was spoken to by Eagles about the seriousness of the situation. Eagles didn’t think any further action was needed.

“I’ve had a very focused and pointed conversation about the incident.. He has a very clear understanding of what the expectations are going forward. Alex is a grown man. He knows he made a mistake,” he said.

Eagles compared the situation to a fire.

“If you see a fire, I don’t really need to tell you not to put your hand in that fire or you’ll get burned.”

No further disciplinary actions are being taken. Eagles said he’s just thankful no one was injured.

“We can’t change the past right now. At the end of the day, our job is to try to educate people and to put the safety of our athletes first,” he said.

Alex Coffin declined comment on the situation.


  1. Correction to this story though, there were 2 extra passengers both ways and the trip was to Summerside. The team left STu overloaded to start with.


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