The issue of hazing was brought up earlier this week thanks to the situation between Cowboys receivers Dez Bryant and Roy Williams (yes, the former Lions receiver). Basically, Williams asked Bryant to carry his pads, which is a common thing veterans have rookies do early on in training camp. It's basically a welcome to the league, but Bryant apparently didn't get the memo, because he refused Williams' request. Personally I think the whole story was blown out of proportion, but it did bring hazing to the forefront.
When Jim Schwartz and the Lions kicked off camp a year ago, he made it clear that hazing would not be tolerable. This year, he once again made it clear that hazing isn't allowed, although his definition of hazing doesn't necessarily include small things like carrying a veteran's pads.
"We're not a college fraternity house," Schwartz said Thursday on the eve of players reporting for camp. "Hazing is not something that we accept or condone at all. To me there's a line between things that are physically demanding, demeaning of a player, embarrass a player."
Schwartz was asked about stuff like making rookies pay the dinner bills, and he had this to say:
"That's a lot different than stocking the position room with Gatorade or carrying somebody's helmet in or getting chicken on the way to the airport for the veteran players," Schwartz said. "Everybody's gone through that. And that's what I tell those guys. I actually use all three of those as, 'Hey, look. If you want your rookies to get snacks for your rooms, that's fine. Don't stick them with a big bill at a restaurant.' "
That sounds like a nice compromise to me. Tying rookies to the goalpost or sticking them with huge dinner bills is just childish. That's not to say that having them carry your pads or grab you a snack isn't, but it's not on quite the same level as some of the big-time hazing that goes on in the NFL.