The football and croquet players are appealing the dean's decisionDaniel Hilton for Varsity

St John’s College’s sports teams have amassed over 130 hours of community service for their behaviour at a sports day swap with Oxford last term, which reportedly involved verbal abuse, and urine and beer spills.

The men’s football team, known as the ‘Poulets’, and the croquet team were given 120 hours and 12 hours respectively by the College Dean last week (24/01), Dr Nick Friedman for their misbehaviour while visiting Balliol College, Oxford, for a weekend of sports and socialising in Michaelmas.

Recorded on Oxford’s CCTV, Johnians were seen battering the grounds, allegedly trashing Balliol College’s bar, committing poor behaviour at swaps, and leaving broken glass, mud and urine in the changing rooms. Varsity was told that a member of the opposite team was even called a “midget”.

In an email addressed to the men’s and mixed teams’ captains, Friedman asked the captains to “attend an urgent meeting with the Dean”.

Friedman had been contacted by the Domestic Bursar of Balliol, who expressed his “upset at the condition in which St John’s sports teams left the changing rooms,” he said.

Friedman included a list of allegations made by Baliol: “The men’s changing room was reportedly left ‘trashed’ with large amounts of rubbish, including broken glass, all over the floor. It appeared that someone had urinated on the changing room floor. Rubbish was also left on the pitch, which our students were asked to clean up but didn’t.”

“Some of our men’s team verbally abused the Balliol football team, and in general showed little to no respect for Balliol’s facilities or people. The security staff reported our students drinking beer through funnels, and then sliding on beer spilt on the floor,” the email continued.

“The majority of the cleaning up was done by Balliol students, who were horrified to discover the situation in the early hours of Sunday morning,” Baliol also alleged.

Captains of the teams have been allowed to decide who has to serve the community service. This decision has been praised by Johnians as it is believed that the main perpetrators will assume the majority of the hours, without team members implicating each other. Equally, it could mean that certain individuals get a disproportionate amount of hours.

A source told Varsity that the collective punishment will be “labour of some form”, likely “sweeping New Court”. A date has not been set for the unspecified punishment, since the sports teams are now in the process of appealing the Dean’s decision.

Fellow Johnians seem to have rallied around their sports teams, taking to the College’s Facebook confessions page, Bridge of Highs, to offer their support.


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One confession stated: “Collective punishment is actually a joke, get your appeals in boys, we’re taking this to Poulet Court.”

Another admiringly posted: “Is it just me or are the croquet team irresistible after getting Community Service, I love a Tory bad boy.”

Even those not involved in the Balliol affair were supportive, with one source telling Varsity: “Collective punishment is peak. Someone should tell Oxford that snitches get stitches.”

A spokeswoman for St John’s told Varsity: “Members of St. John’s are expected to abide by the code of conduct which is detailed in the Student Handbook. Anyone who does not meet those expectations may be subject to the College’s disciplinary process which is available online.”