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Investigation of Harvard Women’s Ice Hockey Program Aims to Conclude by End of Term

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Jenner and Block, the New York-based law firm investigating Harvard’s women’s ice hockey program in light of allegations of abuse against the program and its head coach, aims to complete its review by the end of April, according to a former team member.

The investigation comes amid accusations that head coach Katey Stone fostered a toxic environment on the team, including making disparaging comments to players and other coaches, downplaying injuries, and displaying insensitivity to mental health issues. The allegations — published in the Athletic and the Boston Globe — date back more than 20 years.

The review — which was announced by Harvard Athletic Director Erin McDermott on March 14 — will be the eighth surrounding Harvard Athletics in the last seven years.

Abra A. Kinkopf ’06, a former Harvard women’s ice hockey player on the 2002-03 team, said Jenner and Block told her during a March 25 phone call that the firm hopes to make the review process efficient.

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“They said that they were going to try to make it as swift as possible, and they were hoping it would be end of April,” Kinkopf said.

Kinkopf said there was uncertainty around the timeline, and she was told “it could extend further” or conclude earlier than expected.

Jenner and Block did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Harvard spokesperson Rachael Dane wrote in an email that the investigation is expected to end “by the end of the academic year.” The last day of spring term classes for the College is April 26, and the final exam period for 2023 lasts from May 4 to May 13.

Two current women’s ice hockey players said they had not been informed of the investigation’s timeline by Jenner and Block or Harvard Athletics.

Kinkopf said Jenner and Block has offered to connect review participants — including former players — to mental health resources. Harvard Counseling and Mental Health Service has also offered support to current team members, according to a Harvard spokesperson.

While any individual with knowledge of the situation can share comments with Jenner and Block, Kinkopf said that, according to her phone call with the firm, the investigators will not be actively reaching out to alumni or current players.

“They will talk to anyone, but they’re not going to seek out people of note,” she said. “They’re also not going to dig for information. And they are very clear they cannot force any students or athletes to speak.”

Kinkopf said lawyers from Jenner and Block made it clear during the call that “they represent the school, they don’t represent people.”

“Their job is to publish recommendations for the school,” she said. “So the recommendations they publish will belong to Harvard, and Harvard can then choose whether or not it wants to make it public.”

On March 24, the Athletic reported that top freshman defender Jade A. Arnone ’26 had entered the transfer portal, and associate head coach Lee-J Mirasolo had taken a leave of absence. The Globe investigation reported that 14 players have left Stone’s team since 2016.

Kinkopf questioned why Stone is permitted to remain in her role as the investigation takes place.

“One of my concerns with the investigation is that Katey Stone’s still on campus,” she added.

Dane declined to comment on criticisms of the ongoing review.

—Staff writer Paton D. Roberts can be reached at paton.roberts@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter at @paton_dr.

—Staff writer Sophia C. Scott can be reached at sophia.scott@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter at @ScottSophia_.

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