Coach Hamilton Kane was the coach of a rowing team with Olympic aspirations. He was forced to accept Richard Hartley, a member of a locally prominent family, as a member and oust Horace Briggs to make room for Hartley. Kane tried to convince Hartley to resign from the team, but Hartley refused. The team conducted Hartley's initiation the evening after he refused to quit. It became a violent affair involving alcohol and beating Hartley with oars. Hartley fled and was found dead the next morning. The members of the team and Kane remained silent about the events prior to Hartley's death.
Ultimately, Kane and the rowers were found not to be directly responsibly for Kane's death.