Swimming and diving teams placed on strict sanctions

Elise Covert and Lauren Whelan

The University Department of Athletics & Recreation released a statement announcing strict sanctions on the men’s and women’s varsity swimming and diving teams on Sept. 12. Upon investigation, the teams were found to have hosted events with underage drinking. Additionally, the athletics department uncovered an email from the men’s team that was deemed to be “lewd, sexist and misogynistic.”

The women’s team has been placed on a one-year probation, while the men’s team is facing a two-year probation. During the probationary periods, team members will participate in mandatory educational activities aimed at putting an end to the displayed behaviors.

The newly implemented rules require any team member to get approval from the Department of Athletics & Recreation to move off campus or host team events. Furthermore, the team’s training trip to Florida this winter has been cancelled.

Upperclassmen on the men’s team are suspended from the first two competitions of the season. They are also subject to loss of leadership positions within the swimming and diving team, as well as University disciplinary action for violation of the student code of conduct.

“This type of behavior runs counter to the values we work hard to instill. We are committed to the continued education of our student-athletes to help prevent similar situations from occurring in the future,” head coach Dan Schinnerer said.

These are not the first sanctions to be placed on the teams, which were just released from a two-year probation period prior to the new violations being discovered.

“The poor behavior exhibited by some members of these programs is simply unacceptable,” Director of Athletics & Recreation John Hardt said. “This conduct is particularly frustrating given that it comes during a period of unprecedented educational initiatives for members of both teams.”

The Department of Athletics & Recreation maintains that it is dedicated to educating student-athletes to instill in them leadership skills and strong personal values. Their hope is that a renewed commitment to this endeavor will prevent these sanctions from being necessary in the future.

Both Hardt and Schinnerer declined further comment.

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