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The Amherst men’s swimming & diving team has withdrawn from the 2018 NCAA Division III Championships after a violation of team rules, the school confirmed to SwimSwam on Saturday.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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97 Comments on "Amherst College Withdraws Team from Men’s NCAA Championships"

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Let them swim!

Let them stay home and quaff, as that seems to be their priority.

If you can’t wait to get back to campus to start drinking after conference champs, you deserve to have your season END right then & there. Especially if you’ve put yourself in a position to solidly qualify for NCAA’s, to then turn around and start drinking within and hour or so of finishing the most physically brutal weekend of the season…enjoy your Spring Break boys!!!

Even if they waited until after and got caught, in today’s climate the punishment would probably be the same. Also the article doesn’t say if the NCAA qualifiers were all drinking

I was actually at the NESCAC Championships and pulled out begin what I think was the Amherst bus. They left around 9:00 PM for a roughly 3 hour bus ride back on a Sunday night. Now Brad, with your love of using words that are effectively dead in the English language, I can only assume you’ve received some form of education. Based on your experience, is it advisable to start quaffing close to midnight on Sunday, before a week of class? It’s certainly not the course of action I would choose.

I’m not going to say what years and what school, but we drank on the bus after our conference meet. Double workouts Monday through Friday, months of hard work and exhaustion, yeah I’m not going to feel bad about having a couple shots with my teammates in the back of the bus. Don’t care what coaches or anyone else thinks.

Obviously if kids are dumb enough to get caught there should be some sort of punishment, but pulling them out of a meet that they worked so hard to qualify for is way too harsh of a punishment

retired coach

Integrity should matter. If you agreed to a team rule, your personal integrity should be that which “makes you” abide by it, not what your coaches or anyone else thinks. That said, have these swimmers seen this kind of personal integrity modeled by current American leaders (sport, political or otherwise) as an example they should have followed?

I agree with everything you say, just think that the punishment is too harsh

This “punishment is too harsh” argument is COCKY POP!!! The whole point of a punishment is to DETER unwanted behavior. Therefore the punishment MUST be more extreme than the behavior, otherwise one will have the option to decide if they can deal with the punishment if they CHOSE to violate the rule. If, in this case, there is no stated punishment, then the potential violator has no leg to stand on to complain about the punishment, after CHOOSING to violate a rule that had no proclaimed punishment. If you CHOOSE to violate a well known rule, with no punishment listed on record for violating that rule, then you are rolling the dice, and if they come up CRAPS…….DEAL WITH IT… Read more »
Ehhh… I agree with your overall sentiment, but the logic is a bit flawed. Part of weighing the consequence with the action is risk vs reward. Maybe its happened before and no one got caught. Think about speeding. How many times have you been more than 5 mph over the speed limit this month? How many times were you pulled over? Most people would say, 2-3 times per day and none. In other words, speeding violations or getting caught speeding does not deter anyone really from speeding. Like I said, I agree with your premise, but your logic is flawed, and I agree with the punishment as well. On a less serious note, they finished 3rd…. not 1st. I also… Read more »

I agree with your points.

In answer to your speeding question, I can say with certainty that I have not sped in a car in the last 5 months. Not because I’m a saint of any sort, but because in September, 2017, I moved to a small, remote Caribbean island in Belize, where there are no cars 😉
We walk, ride bike or drive a golf cart and believe me, the condition of the coral roads prohibits any sort of speeding in the golf cart 😀

Haha, you have to be the 1 in a million exception dont you??

Yup, happily so too!!! 😀 But don’t let that take away from the point of your post, which is spot on. Thanks for keeping me “honest” 😉

Dumb enough to get caught is not the point. There are Amherst rules, athletic department rules, and team rules, ad these guys broke the rules. There are consequences, no matter how hard they worked. If they hadn’t got caught, it would have been implicit that rules don’t need to be followed. I was a college coach. In many ways, my job security was dependent on the conduct of 17-23 year-old kids and young adults. It was also a function of my ability to recruit swimmers, and if those swimmers saw a team that was loose with rules and expectations, I’d have a tough time recruiting the kind of swimmers I’d want on my team. Setting rules and enforcing those was… Read more »

By that logic, if you weren’t on the 400 free relay, you could start drinking on deck during diving. You’ve worked really hard and would be entitled to a shot or two – who cares what the coach or anyone else thinks? You deserve that shot, Snowflake. You’re entitled to it.
You represent your school from the moment you get on the bus until the moment you get off the bus. NCAA and institutions are very clear on this. Have fun when you get back to campus, but have enough respect to wait until then.

Lucky you that those few shots hadn’t made you an alcoholic, had they. And you probably also lucky not to have an alcoholic in the family to know what kind of life it makes to everybody around. I’m not saying that alcohol consumption is illegal and everybody gets addicted. But it is better to stay on safe side because should it happens it incurable. Don’t believe anybody who says otherwise. The desire to relax this way after hard dedicated work is the dumbest idea. I agree that such form of punishment will change nothing. This team got rotten already. Those who think that team rules can be ignored should be removed from the team. These rules are for reason. For… Read more »

You make it sound like alcohol is heroin

No it is not. And I don’t want to preach here. In my parents family the alcohol was strictly prohibited for the reasons I described above. Children haven’t learned what it is and never saw adults drinking. I thought that parents’ example will automatically teach next generation. And it was like that until college with its fraternity happened. Therefore I’m too sensitive to this topic and maybe exaggerating the danger. But I’m pretty sure that you won’t give alcohol to a baby and won’t do it with a toddler, but if teenager does it then it becomes fine. Why do you think this 21 age restriction exists

It’s not. But it sure kills a lot more people than heroin

Are you kidding me?!?!? The dumbest idea is that you think people celebrating with a drink since there is a chance they will become alcoholics for the rest of their lives, and as you say it is incurable. There is so much wrong with that statement, the least of which is science proving that wrong. I am confused by your views though, because you seem very deeply religious with your family history and the banning of alcohol, yet you think the Almighty (whomever he or she is you believe in) cant cure everything. If religion is not an issue here, then why else do you ignore science? But let’s go with your logic for a minute… don’t celebrate New Years… Read more »
Today’s environment is entirely different for young men. Increasingly, those in power want to punish. We live in a society where over half of adult men have a criminal record. What they did was not only stupid, but they knew was walking right into the area of main concern for administrators. Campuses around the country are reacting strongly to alcohol use. Entire Greek systems have been shut down over alcohol use. You can’t tell me that they haven’t had the rules explained to them or been lectured too about the use of alcohol. I have had two nephews that had alcohol incidents that got them suspended for a year. Fortunately, they were able to get back and finish their degrees.… Read more »
Yeah, completely different environment. Shoot, you break a law today and you should be expected to answer for it?? MAN!!! Oh how the times have changed. Back in the day you could do drugs, sexually harass women (or men), beat your wife or kid, and carry a gun to school in your truck…. geez, we should all go back to the good ol’ days. Heck, why not go back further to when slavery was okay while we are at it. If you want a less extreme rebuttal, how about football and the concussion issue?? We change because we learn. We become educated and we change… Those that dont, ignore science, facts, the populous and rationality. Don’t give me that crap… Read more »

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of 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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