An Open Letter

An Open Letter to MSU Director of Athletics Mark Hollis,

Mr. Hollis,

As I’m sure you are well aware by now, two of your university’s hockey players, Corey Tropp and Andrew Conboy, were involved in a disgraceful incident Friday night in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Both of them participated in actions that were immoral; the actions by Mr. Tropp can be described by no less severe terms than absolutely inhuman. I can only imagine your embarrassment, the embarrassment felt by the parents of these two student-athletes must be unbearable.

Following the game, Men’s Ice Hockey Head Coach Rick Comley stated that he would discipline each player following their actions. While the effort of Mr. Comley is certainly a start, there is no possible way that it is enough. The Central Collegiate Hockey Association will undoubtedly suspend Mr. Conboy, and Coach Comley may choose to discipline him further. This is acceptable punishment. Mr. Tropp, on the other hand, should likely be tried in a court of law for assault with a deadly weapon. If you are a man of integrity, Mr. Hollis (and none of your previous actions would imply otherwise), Mr. Tropp should be kindly informed that his services with a hockey stick (be they scoring goals or attempting to murder an opposing player as he lay prone on the ground) are no longer welcome in East Lansing, and if he would like to continue as a student at Michigan State University, he may do so without the benefit of a grant-in-aid from the athletic department.

Do you really want to send the message to prospective athletes that Michigan State is a school that not only condones, but champions thuggery and criminal acts? No school, much less an esteemed academic institution like Michigan State, should ever accept behavior like this from any of its students, and student-athletes are more accountable than any others. For the athletic department to not only allow such acts, much less pay a student to commit them, is unconscionable. I know this is a difficult decision for you to make, Mr. Hollis, but there is a right choice and a wrong one. Please, for the sake of a student at a neighboring university who had to be taken to the hospital in a neck brace on a backboard, make the right one.


Timothy Sullivan

The link to Hollis’s e-mail address is there for a reason. Let him know how you feel.

Posted under Hockey
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8 Comments so far

  1. Dave says...


  2. Tom says...

    I agree with everything in the letter except for the assertion that Tropp should be arrested. It is very hard for me to buy into the “if it happened on the street” argument because, simply, it didn’t happen on the street, it happened in the course of a very physical sport with tensions running high. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not in any way condoning what Tropp did, it was malicious and he should be punished severely for it, but I do believe that setting matters. To me, in order for an athlete to be charged with a felony for something that he did on the ice/court/field it needs to be so grossly beyond the realm of normal conduct that the sport’s governing body is unable to sufficiently punish the athlete on its own (Ron Artest running into the stands and beating up a fan, for example).

  3. Tim says...

    I think what Tropp did was well beyond the realm of jurisdiction of the sport. Name me one instance in hockey in which it’s acceptable to slash a player who is facedown, motionless on the ground. Add to that, if you will, the fact that this is after the whistle, and the game is, for all intents and purposes, over.

    I’m typically a very strong believer in leaving aspects of a violent sport within the arena of that sport (i.e. should a boxer be arrested for accidentally killing his opponent in the ring? of course not), but when an act is so far from the realm of acceptability in the sport that it isn’t even considered a part of the game, and is instead something entirely unrelated that happened during the game, which I obviously believe this is, then that is certainly punishable by law.

  4. Charles says...

    I completely agree, in my blog i suggested that the Washtenaw County prosecutor’s office start drafting aggravated assault charges on both players as soon as possible.

  5. scott says...

    esteemed? Too much suck up, not enough judgement….

  6. Chris says...

    Saturday Night?

  7. teterwin says...

    ok, I’ll bite.

    Tropp is lucky he didn’t kill someone.

    Andrews hit was dirty, (double MINOR) but not criminal.

    Conboy has skated four games so far with the Bulldogs. Evidently Hamilton isn’t on your mailing list.

  8. Rem says...

    I’m sorry, but this story isn’t as black&white as you paint it to be. You need to understand the circumstances under which the slash occurred.

    You also need to know the conflicting statements given by Steve Kampfer himself:

    1. “The coaches are not going to let us forget this.”

    2. “My neck is a little sore, but it’s no
    big deal.”

    Those are actual quotes, people. Can you reconcile them?

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