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Report: Michigan Men's Hockey Coach Accused of Toxic Behavior

The head coach of the University of Michigan's Men's Hockey Program has been accused of engaging in toxic behavior that has fostered a negative team culture.
Mel Pearson

The head coach of the University of Michigan's Men's hockey team has been accused of engaging in several forms of toxic behavior according to the findings of an anonymous team survey and investigative report, according to The Athletic's Katie Strang

According to the report, players and staff have accused coach Mel Pearson of behaviors such as urging players to provide false information on their COVID-19 tracking forms, misleading recruits on the amount of scholarship money they will receive if they commit to Michigan, and allegedly calling one player a "Jew". 

The survey also notes that Pearson seemingly did not act in a suitable manner when addressing allegations against Michigan's director of hockey operations for mistreating several female staff members, with a separate investigative report describing his actions as an "inability or unwillingness" to hold the culprit accountable. 

Furthermore, Pearson is accused of retaliating against 2021 team captain Strauss Mann for attempting to "address and improve the team's culture", forcing him to leave the program. 

Pearson did not respond to multiple attempts to reach him via phone by The Athletic. When asked about the probe in February, Pearson told The Michigan Daily, “I feel very confident that the allegations will be proved wrong.”

Through his cooperation during the investigation, Pearson has denied the allegations against him, stating that he had "no role" in what information players provided on their COVID-19 tracking forms, and did not see Michigan director of hockey operations Rick Bancroft mistreat any female staff members. Pearson also states that Mann's departure from the program had "nothing to do with any friction" between himself and the goaltender. 

Stay tuned as this story develops. 

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