Cornell men's lacrosse head coach Ben DeLuca fired

Ben DeLuca

Cornell University has fired the head coach of the menâ??s lacrosse team, according to a statement on the schoolâ??s website.

Cornell Athletic Director Andrew Noel told former coach Ben DeLuca of the schoolâ??s decision at a meeting

early on Thursday


Noel said in a statement that â??While Cornell University recognizes the contributions DeLuca has made to our nationally ranked lacrosse program as a player and assistant coach; it is the universityâ??s belief that new leadership is required to best serve our students and to continue our lacrosse programâ??s decades-long tradition of excellence.â??

Assistant coach Matt Kerwick has been named interim head coach while the school undertakes a national search for head coach prospects.

â??This was a difficult decision, but our students are our first priority and there is no doubt now that new leadership is requiredâ?? said Noel.

It was not mentioned if the firing was related to a

hazing incident

in September that saw the menâ??s team cancel all of their fall games during the investigation.

Freshman players were reportedly treated as â??less than equals.â?? There were even reports of an organized â??keg raceâ?? where freshman were tied up in a circle and made to drink large amounts of beer in a competition against each other.

Noel has refused any further media requests for comment.