Amherst College Withdraws Team from Men’s NCAA Championships

The Amherst men’s swimming & diving team has withdrawn from the 2018 NCAA Division III Championships after a violation of team rules, the school confirmed to SwimSwam on Saturday. Their withdraw opens up 9 new spots in the meet – those changes have not been published on the NCAA or USA Swimming website, but invited athletes have been notified.

“Coach Nichols discovered a violation of team rules concerning alcohol policy by the men’s swimming and diving team,” a spokesperson said. “In consultation with the Athletic Director, he decided not to permit team members to attend the NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships.”

Sources tell SwimSwam that evidence was found of alcohol consumption on the team bus after the NESCAC Conference Championship meet. At that meet, Amherst finished 3rd behind Tufts (1671 points) and Williams College (1590 points).

Based on psych sheet scoring, the Amherst men were projected to finish 14th at the NCAA Championships. The Amherst women’s team, projected to finish 12th, are still expected to participate.

Denison has the first 3 alternates to the meet, but because they’ve already had 18 swimmers invited, those names will be skipped (unless Denison decides to scratch an already-invited swimmer instead). Because of the way the Division III selections work, these invites are not inconsequential: all will be well within striking distance for points, seeded 16th or 17th in their events (with 16 scoring).

Swimmers who earn invites based on Amherst’s scratch.

  1. Chris Dabrowski, Wabash, 1650 free – 15:49.50
  2. Kyle Shadeck, Keene St., 200 fly – 1:49.18
  3. Samuel Willettt, Claremont Mudd-Scripps, 200 back – 1:49.01
  4. Aaron Green, Widener, 100 free – 44.81
  5. Justin Chiu, MIT, 100 breast – 55.62
  6. Drew Hamilton, Case Western, 500 free – 4:30.70
  7. Alex Menzer, Swarthmore, 500 free – 4:30.70
  8. Jacob Cost, Wheaton (MA), 100 back – 49.31
  9. Connor Sweeney, MIT, 200 fly – 1:49.30

Included on the list are Widener’s only swimming invitee, Aaron Green; Wabash’s only swimming invitee, Chris Dabrowski; and 2 additional swimmers from MIT, who are seeded to finish 6th at the meet. Among those are Connor Sweeney, who probably didn’t expect to get a call-up as the 13th alternate.

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Any Mouse
4 years ago

TO ANY STUDENT ATHLETE THAT MAY BE BLAMING THEIR COACH/ADMINISTRATION RIGHT NOW FOR “EXCESSIVE PUNISHMENT”.

Take it from someone who has been in a very similar situation. There will come a day when you realize YOU made the mistake and no one else is to blame. The sooner you come to this realization, and apply that same logic to all other areas of your life, the better your life will be moving forward.

Brad Flood
Reply to  Any Mouse
4 years ago

Thank You MOUSE for your honesty and advice. Both should be treasured by those who will benefit from the knowledge most.

LJeff
Reply to  Any Mouse
4 years ago

If it was the basketball team, they would be running suicides until they puked up their beer, but they wouldn’t be missing a tournament. The penalty is so far beyond excessive, that it does nothing to “educate” the kids, but just alienates them to the entire administration. Some of your comments seem to suggest that any punishment is acceptable, even being expelled was mentioned. That is so preposterous it boggles the mind.

BRAD FLOOD
Reply to  LJeff
4 years ago

Me thinks you are so deep in the woods, you surely can’t see the trees. Have faith though, some day, the light will go on and you will understand.

LJeff
Reply to  BRAD FLOOD
4 years ago

OK Brad, the omniscient one opining from Control Central in Belize, which gives you a clear view on what happened on a bus ride from Bowdoin to Amherst. Can’t wait until I am as mature as you think you are.

Brad Flood
Reply to  LJeff
4 years ago

Maybe it is the 46 years experience in coaching swimming, the last 25 years (8 as Assist./17 as Head) at the NCAA Division I & II levels, prior to moving to Belize, that provide me with the insight and maturity to comment on this situation.

But, Please, by all means, keep waiting, as it takes great time, patience and lots of lessons, some easy & some tough, to accrue these valuable personal assets. I’m confident you will eventually get there.

John
4 years ago

Any comments for this Joe/Flybirds?

Mugsy
4 years ago

Missing NCAAs is the least of these swimmers’ worries. Boozing on a team trip is an expellable offense. These entitled swimmers have put the coaches jobs in jeopardy. Not only did they break long established team rules, they broke several laws as well. There will be zero tolerance for their actions.

SwimPop
4 years ago

Wow, lighten up Francis, aren’t these college kids?

beachair
Reply to  SwimPop
4 years ago

MIght suck for these “bubble” guys, since they may have not been training. A free trip to the dance, though.

Ole 99
4 years ago

Completely off topic here… am I the only person that noticed the stock photo up top features a swimmer/diver digging out a speedo wedgie in the background?

Brad Flood
Reply to  Ole 99
4 years ago

No, you’re not the only one LOL

newswim
4 years ago

Not all national team members drank. All were punished. Now I’d like to hear those praising the decision to tell me about the honor and integrity of collective punishment. I’m all ears.

osd
Reply to  newswim
4 years ago

They could be going with the theory that if one relay member is pulled from the meet it takes the whole relay out. I think only one individual made it on his own, and he was on two relays. Just pulling him and one of the swimmers from the third relay would take all the entries out. The team otherwise would be sending replacements to the meet, which they may not be able to do. (I don’t know what the rules are on replacing relay only swimmers)

Brad Flood
Reply to  newswim
4 years ago

OK, fair enough. Not all members of the Men’s Swimming Team were drinking. Did the ones that were not drinking sit there silently on the bus ride home, fully aware that members of THEIR TEAM were CHOOSING to blatantly violate known University, Athletic Department, Team and possibly State Rules/Laws? If they CHOSE to do nothing to stop, or report that violation to the coaches, then they are as complicit as those violating the Rules/Law.

Yeah, snitching SUCKS….but not nearly as bad as paying the price for the actions a couple of IDIOTS who couldn’t wait a couple of hours to start drinking alcohol after a conference championship, when you had all the patience of Job. ACCEPT and LEARN, from your… Read more »

newswim
Reply to  Brad Flood
4 years ago

OK fair enough. But does the punishment fit the crime? The only precedent for such punishment at Amherst was the X Country team’s far more serious behavior that involved sexists, misogynistic, emails about women team member. In today’s world people get fired for such offenses. Drinking is also punishable offense but at different level.

Brad Flood
Reply to  newswim
4 years ago

Your first mistake in understanding the severity of this violation of rules is that you think this is about drinking, only. Drinking on the team bus on the way home from conference championships…seriously, think about it. This is so unacceptable on so many levels.

Here’s something else to think about. Why is there no precedent for punishment of this level at Amherst? Think about it, the answer will come to you. If your struggling with that, think about this….there will be no need for this punishment to be doled out again, at least in the next 5-6 years, you can almost bank on that!

Those before you were either lucky, or understood just how poor a choice this is and… Read more »

newswim
Reply to  Brad Flood
4 years ago

A very lengthy non-answer to my question. The contention is that the violation deserved punishment. Based on precedent at Amherst, cited above, the punishment did not correspond to the severity of the violation. You have not addressed this contention.

Replyleaver
Reply to  Brad Flood
4 years ago

Straining relationships and hurting your teammates just because you’re afraid of being punished for something that would be a non-issue in civilized nations is completely sociopathic, BRADLEY.

BRAD FLOOD
Reply to  Replyleaver
4 years ago

Ya think you’ve got a pretty solid argument there don’t ya?

Problem is, you negate your whole argument when you use the phrase “something that would be a non-issue in civilized nations”, in reference to the CHOICE to blatantly break known university, athletic department and team rules, thus indicating you (and your fellow team members) don’t believe you are living in a “civilized nation”, due to the penalty handed down for your poor CHOICES.

That being the case, your whole argument goes out the door. You knew the “something” you, and/or your teammates, CHOSE to do (drink alcohol on a team bus on the way home from conference championships) WOULD BE an issue in your non-civilized world. Therefore, those who… Read more »

Mugsy
Reply to  BRAD FLOOD
4 years ago

These days, schools/administrators/coaches have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to team/school alcohol violations and in this case broken laws. These swimmers’ put their coach in an impossible position when they chose to disrespect and abuse his authority while under his supervision.

Brad Flood
Reply to  Mugsy
4 years ago

BINGO!!!

REPLYLEAVER
Reply to  BRAD FLOOD
4 years ago

More psychotic ramblings, eh? The issue is blown out of proportion in a way only middle aged puritans can. Snitching on your friends for doing something that doesn’t hurt anyone but themselves (and which is definitely a harmless “cool thing to do” in their age), while knowing the possible out-of-proportion consequences for them and the whole team is very much sociopathic. You lack any resemblance of empathy.

Old School
Reply to  REPLYLEAVER
4 years ago

Empathy? What about those swimmers’ concern for the position they knowingly put their coaches and school in? What about empathy for the relay team who would have gotten invited to NCAAs had Amherst made their decision 24 hours earlier? What about the position those swimmers put their teammates in? Painting these Amherst swimmers as victims is what is sociopathic.
To be clear, I’m not even against underage drinking, but when you do it on the bus on the way home from your conference meet, it’s a giant middle finger to everyone else.

LJeff
Reply to  Brad Flood
4 years ago

That is utter nonsense. Nowhere in any Amherst literature on policy do they subscribe an affirmative responsibility for undergraduates to report on others violating team rules. What was the coach doing when all this occurred? And remember, these “rules” seem as if they were borrowed from Amherst Regional High School. Where were the swim strict interpretationists when Ryan Lochte was fall down drunk in Rio, and then lied about it. Was he sent home? Kicked off the team? Suspended? Was Michael Phelps punished for not reporting his knowledge of the violation? The collective punishment of the team is what bad gym teachers do in grade school. At any point in time on almost any college campus in America, there is… Read more »

BRAD FLOOD
Reply to  LJeff
4 years ago

Me thinks you are so deep in the woods, you surely can’t see the trees. Have faith though, some day, the light will go on and you will understand.

D24694
Reply to  LJeff
4 years ago

LJeff,

I am sorry but I can’t help and laugh at your attempt to reason with the situation and provide examples. The fact you are using Ryan Lochte Rio Incident as example to justify your reason is comical. If anything you are proving yourself even more wrong by using that example! COME ON MAN!

Ryan Lochte wasn’t sent home because HE LEFT Rio before Brazilian authorize could question him about the incident! They seized his teammates passports and they wouldn’t his teammates leave the country!

His punishments was a 10 month suspension, millions of dollars lost in endorsements, and a Public Relation nightmare. I think Ryan Lochte would of taken missing a national meet as his punishment lol.

Brad Flood
Reply to  D24694
4 years ago

Braden, Can I “+” vote this, like 1,000,000,000,000,000 times, Man? Please?

LJeff
Reply to  D24694
4 years ago

Evidently you cannot understand basic logic. My point is that no one other than Lochte was punished (other than the two guys with him) but in this instance, the Mammoths punished are the 9 qualifiers for NCAA’s (who none of us know were actually drinking) while the rest of the team is effectively not punished at all, (based on the facts we have been given) even though it may have been strictly non-qualifiers that broke team rules, or some combination of both q’s and non-Q’s. Hence, the punishment does not fit the transgression. No one involved in USA Swimming or the USOC ever suggested teammates Not Out with Lochte be punished..that is the point.

Brad Flood
Reply to  LJeff
4 years ago

Evidently you don’t fully understand the different types of consequences and how they are designed to work. Some consequences are designed to punish the individual(s) for improper behaviors. I believe this is the type of consequence you are referring to when you state “Hence, the punishment does not fit the transgression.” and you are correct, in this interpretation. If each of you who CHOSE to drink on the bus were punished individually, those consequences are designed to deter YOU, as an individual, from CHOOSING to engage in that particular behavior again.

However, some consequences are designed to set a precedent for deterring the targeted unacceptable behavior (drinking alcohol on a team bus on the way home from conference championships) for… Read more »

Ole 99
4 years ago

This is the reality of our time. If you are an administrator or board member at a college or university today, the last thing you want to deal with is problems/bad press from a non-revenue producing sport. Students/programs will either get on board or be gone.

Brad Flood
Reply to  Ole 99
4 years ago

BINGO!!!!!!!!

Brad Flood
4 years ago

But Meg, it was surely Coach Nichols that informed the Athletic Director that members of HIS Men’s Swimming & Diving Team were drinking alcohol on the team bus on the way back to campus from the conference championships, right? If so, I’m certain Coach Nichols knew full well the consequence for this blatant breaking of University, Athletic Department and Team Rules would not be a slap on the wrist. SO, in the end, it was Coach Nichols that made it possible for the Athletic Department to make this decision, which was the RIGHT THING to do, and by reporting the offense, he contributed to, and felt OK about the outcome.

Not sure what the point of your post was to… Read more »

Brad Flood
Reply to  Brad Flood
4 years ago

Where did the post from “MEG” disappear to??

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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