Michigan Tech concludes review of mental abuse claims against head hockey coach Joe Shawhan
There are no indications of any resulting discipline against the seven-year head coach.
HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) - Michigan Tech University has completed its review of a former hockey player’s mental abuse claims against head hockey coach Joe Shawhan, and there are no indications of any resulting discipline against the seven-year head coach.
On Monday afternoon, the university confirmed to TV6 that Shawhan remains in his position. The university said federal FERPA student protections laws preclude it from commenting on any specific circumstances related to the review.
The former player, 22-year-old Latvian forward Patriks Marcinkevics, told TV6 in late October that Shawhan made repeated “hurtful comments” to him and “fostered a divisive culture” among the team. Marcinkevics transferred to Michigan Tech from Long Island University during the offseason.
Michigan Tech athletics released an initial statement on the situation to TV6 on Oct. 31.
“We take any such concerns seriously and follow normal university review procedures in such cases,” the statement read.
TV6 asked the athletic department if reviews of this nature are common. The department said they are not common.
Shawhan declined to comment on Marcinkevics’ situation during his press conference on Oct. 31. No other players have left the program since the start of the season.
Marcinkevics told TV6 he took his claims to Interim Dean of Students Laura Bulleit, who referred the matter to the university’s general counsel, Sarah Schulte. Schulte opened a formal review into the allegations, and she interviewed Marcinkevics as part of the review on Nov. 1.
Marcinkevics alleged that Shawhan kicked him out of practice multiple times after the season began on Oct. 7.
Marcinkevics last appeared in a game for the Huskies on Oct. 21 against Wisconsin. During the second period of that game, Marcinkevics received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, his second penalty of the outing. Shawhan later benched him for the third period, Marcinkevics told TV6.
Marcinkevics said he last practiced with the team on Oct. 23, when he was again kicked out of practice. He cleaned out his locker and met with Shawhan afterward.
After cleaning out his locker on Oct. 23, Marcinkevics said he intended to return to the team at some point. Athletic department officials told him one week later that he was no longer permitted to participate in team activities, according to Marcinkevics.
In a new statement Monday, the university confirmed the review was completed.
“Michigan Tech is aware of the concerns from former player Marcinkevics,” the statement said. “We follow established university review procedures in such instances which could include interviews of students and employees conducted by university general counsel. While this review has been completed, federal FERPA student protections laws preclude us from commenting on any specific circumstances.”
Shawhan holds a record of 122-93-23. He was named the 2023 CCHA Coach of the Year.
The Huskies were picked first in the CCHA preseason media and coaches’ polls. Their record stands at 3-5-3 through 11 games this season, including a 1-1 conference record. The team hosts Ferris State for a two-game series Friday and Saturday.
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