St. Mike’s player in the Grey Cup ‘disgusted’ by scandal at his former school

When Nolan MacMillan won the Grey Cup in 2016, he brought it back to his former high school, St. Michael’s College, to show players what’s possible if they stick with football.

But the starting offensive lineman with the CFL’s Ottawa Redblacks says news of a violent hazing scandal at the private, all-boys school in Toronto has left him shocked and disgusted.

MacMillan, who will take the field again Sunday in another Grey Cup game, said he owes his entire football career to St. Mike’s and he never experienced or witnessed anything like what has been reported in recent days.

“I was shocked and disgusted and very upset,” MacMillan said.

“That’s not my experience there and it’s definitely very disheartening to hear about.”

St. Michael’s College School has been rocked by allegations of assault and sexual assault by students, including violent hazing. Six boys are facing charges in an alleged sexual assault captured on video that police sources say involved members of a school sports team. Since the scandal broke last week, a number of former students have come forward with allegations of “sexualized” hazing and the school has said recent incidents clearly indicate it has a problem.

MacMillan, who is 27 and was born in Arnprior, Ont., not far from Ottawa, first started playing football at St. Mike’s and won two Metro Bowls in his four years on the team. He went on to play college football at Iowa before becoming the first draft pick in Redblacks franchise history in 2013. He said he is still good friends with many of his classmates and when the got his turn with the Grey Cup in 2016, one of his stops was his former school.

“I had a great experience there. I was on the football team. I was in the band and I was in the play,” he said.

“I owe my entire football career – I got a scholarship, everything – to St. Mikes so, I mean, it is honestly unbelievable to hear something like that would happen and it is very, very upsetting.”

He said he’s happy to help the school moving forward as a high-profile alumnus.

“You need stronger role models on the team and you need, I don’t know. That’s just so completely unacceptable on every level”

Calgary Stampeders coach Dave Dickenson also addressed the scandal Wednesday, saying it’s not what sports are about.

“It’s very serious. When I grew up playing sports that stuff is not tolerated,” Dickenson said.

“Sports is an uplifting experience and you should be a team. I don’t know the details either but, let’s be honest, we put our kids into sports for a positive experience.”

Redblacks coach Rick Campbell declined to comment specifically without having more information on what happened.

“I’m aware of it. It’s been kind of a whirlwind for me lately but I need to stay away from that one right now,” Campbell said.

“I’m not downplaying it. It’s quite a significant thing and I’d like to think that through more before speaking on that.”

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