BC Concludes Hazing Investigation, Extends Swim and Dive Suspension Through August

by Riley Overend 16

January 13th, 2024 ACC, College, News

Boston College has concluded its three-month investigation into allegations of hazing within its combined swim and dive program, determining that hazing occurred last September and extending the teams’ suspension through August as a result.

“The decision is based on the University’s finding that hazing occurred this past September, as well as recurring conduct issues and a team culture that has failed to meet the expectations Boston College holds for its student-athletes,” the university said in a statement released to SwimSwam on Saturday via spokesman Jack Dunn.

The “recurring conduct issues” are likely a reference to hazing discovered within the Eagles’ program in 2022, which was revealed in court documents submitted by BC administrators last October.

“This decision follows sanctions that were issued in December to a number of Swim and Dive team members by the Dean of Students, including University suspension for the spring semester and University probation,” BC’s statement continued. “All team members will also be required to participate in a hazing education program determined by the University. It is the hope of BC Athletics that these measures will enable the program to move forward in the 2024-2025 academic year.”

On Friday, SwimSwam reported that the Eagles had parted way with second-year head coach Joe Brinkman and the rest of their staff while also canceling the remainder of the 2023-24 season. Their coaching staff for this season included assistant coach Brian Keane, assistant coach Alexander Santana, and diving coach Jack Lewis along with Brinkman.

“As a matter of policy, the University does not discuss personnel matters, other than to say that the coaches are no longer with the Swimming and Diving program,” Dunn said.

BC swimmers were accused of pressuring freshmen to binge drink and wear bags of vomit around their necks during a team party that administrators claim was an annual tradition. However, the rumor that freshmen were encouraged to consume their own vomit — started by a letter from an administrator in the Office of the Deane of Students obtained by The Heights — was notably absent from the university’s legal defense last fall.

Last October, a Middlesex Superior Court judge rejected a request for temporary reinstatement by 37 members of the Eagles’ swim and dive program. One day later, they dropped their lawsuit.

“My hope is that the program will learn from this experience and commit itself to ensuring appropriate behavior, meeting University expectations, and creating a positive team culture that will position the program for success in the future,” BC athletic director Blake James said.

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Disgusted
4 months ago

Also, never once did anyone at the university show any care to those they were considering victims. Instead they were turned away from administrators early on when they showed up distraught and crying. They used and coerced them to build their “story” to punish the “guilty”. And THEN they punished them too after promising not to. Some were told by the AD because some members of the team got lawyers involved that he didn’t feel like he owed them anything. So then they decided to just slap the “bad culture” label on they entire group. 15 kids had only been in college all of a couple weeks. And then they terminate coaches indicating to them even more that none of… Read more »

Disgusted
4 months ago

Parents will ALWAYS be more in tune to the harm of their children. 67 sets of parents cannot be wrong about what actually happened and the mental and emotional trauma caused to their kids. BC has done so much damage trying to back up the wrongs of one of their own (an over zealous AD who puts out an inflammatory and accusatory press release before any investigation). BC chose the low road to fabricate a story to back up the AD with absolutely NO CARE to the destruction of dozens of innocent student athletes. And then continued with a vicious loop of retribution because they were ANGRY about the lawsuit. And trust me, that’s a fact because the AD made… Read more »

PowerPlay
4 months ago

The Blake James quote indicates Athletic Dept. taking no ownership for what happened or ADs role to help fix it. Bad omen for swimming future at BC, which has struggled for many, many years.

Swim mom
4 months ago

It is an unfortunate situation. I hope that the kids that want to continue to swim will be able to find an opportunity next year.

Wheeler Walker Jr
Reply to  Swim mom
4 months ago

I hope the kids who helped carry this tradition are reported to safe sport

Swim mom
Reply to  Wheeler Walker Jr
4 months ago

If this incident did happen has reported, I am not sure a drinking hazing event on a college campus is a safe sport incident. I think the purpose of safe sport is to protect children from predatory coaches and adults.

Admin
Reply to  Swim mom
4 months ago

SafeSport deals with a lot of different issues in youth sports. While protecting children from predatory adults is certainly the most visible of those (and the one that the national US Center for SafeSport focuses on), there are lots of other issues that SafeSport gets involved in.

That being said, underage drinking on a college campus is not usually one of those, unless there is a significant escalating factor – for example, if the coach provided the alcohol (no evidence of that in this case).

YGBSM
4 months ago

And the Bean Town Clown Show continues, with Blake James as the maestro.

2-PAC
4 months ago

Hope Brinkman takes one hell of a vacation

Cold Water
4 months ago

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gNPDWh2p_Y

I have seen this clip a lot in the past few days and thought it relevant.

Where do you want the kids to be? It is hard to create a positive team culture when they literally cannot have a team for close to a year. Blake James was sued by some of the families on the team and was/is upset about this. The word “vindictive” comes to mind, and this is not something I would like associated with an Athletic Director.
Blake seems to have had many accusations hauled his way during his tenure; being a smart man is not one of them.

Disgusted
Reply to  Cold Water
4 months ago

Love this! Thank you for sharing … and BC did this to EVERYONE on the team. They had complete disregard about any of them. The inhumane treatment of these young adults was beyond the pale.

Swimmer
4 months ago

This just in- BC administration is not “a bunch of chillers” as previously claimed by the athletic department. Athletic Director Blake James spotted pouring out half the can midway through a shotty, a sight onlookers described as “pitiful at best”.

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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