NCAA disciplines SUNY Plattsburgh women's hockey for alcohol violations

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (WCAX) Over the last four years, you've seen the Plattsburgh State women's ice hockey team in the news for being national champions. But now, something completely different-- a public reprimand, suspensions and a fine for the school.

The NCAA sent out this statement saying three teammates sent a Snapchat after winning the national championship last year, drinking alcohol on the bus on the way to a team dinner. Their names and ages were not released.

The NCAA has a strict no alcohol policy for student-athletes, even if they are of age.

"It's an NCAA Conduct issue. It wouldn't matter if they were 25 or 30 years old, the NCAA prohibits alcohol during the duration of its championship, including after the championship," said Brian Savard of PSU athletic communications.

The NCAA is also benching the two returning players for one playoff game this year. And Plattsburgh State has to cut the NCAA a check-- almost $3,400 to reimburse the athletic association for travel expenses from last year's championship finals.

The coaches were on the bus. We weren't given access to them but they tell the school they saw nothing.

"The coaches at no time witnessed any of this on the bus," Savard said.

The NCAA now considers the matter closed and wants to move on, saying in a statement: "The goal of the committee is to provide a first-class championship experience for our student-athletes in a safe and positive environment. We look forward to moving past this incident and building toward future championship events."

But it's not just the NCAA handing down sanctions. Plattsburgh State is penalizing the team, too.

"The team will be doing some extra community service and they're placed on a disciplinary probation on campus," Savard said.

We went on campus to see what students had to say.

"No matter how happy we are or how much we're celebrating, there's still guidelines that exist. There are so many other clean ways and fun ways that they could have celebrated besides having alcohol," student Frances Hudlin said.

Plattsburgh State is now looking at its rules and guidelines for social media and all its teams, not just the hockey team.

Savard says this is a mistake the whole school can learn from this.

"I think sometimes, especially after a national championship, we can get caught up in emotions and we certainly have learned from this experience and we're moving forward," Savard said.

The 2018 season has already started. The students won't see any suspensions until playoff time.