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3 Maine hockey players accused of threatening football team member

December 19, 1997

ORONO, Maine (AP) _ Three Maine hockey players accused of making telephone threats to a black student-athlete have been suspended from the team and face criminal charges, university officials said Friday.

Bryan Masotta, Shawn Mansoff and Matthew Oliver were ordered to appear in Bangor District Court on Jan. 16 to answer charges of criminal threatening.

University officials also said the Maine Attorney General’s office was reviewing evidence and might charge at least one of the students with making racially motivated threats.

The university said the charges stem from an incident Sunday in which Masotta, Mansoff and Oliver were said to have called Dwayne Wilmot, a member of the football team who lives in a university residence hall.

University police said that Masotta made a series of threats that including insulting race-related language and that voices believed to be those of Mansoff and Oliver were heard in the background making threatening remarks.

The comments were recorded on Wilmot’s voice-mail system. Wilmot, a sophomore from Freeport, N.Y., sought immediate assistance from Sean Frazier, the university’s assistant to the director of athletics for equal opportunity.

School officials indicated that the call was an outgrowth of an earlier incident involving Wilmot and hockey team members.

``The investigation showed that the people involved did know each other prior to the incident on Sunday,″ said John Diamond, a university spokesman.

In a prepared statement, university President Peter S. Hoff denounced the incident.

``Threats of violence and expressions of racial hatred are reprehensible,″ Hoff said. ``This university has a zero-tolerance policy toward this kind of behavior. We will not tolerate it.″

The university said immediate disciplinary action was taken against the three students and the matter was referred to the school’s office of judicial affairs. Officials would not disclose the sanctions, citing federal privacy laws.

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