Update: the athletics department has altered its original statement.
The Heights, a independent Boston College student-run news outlet, is reporting that the school’s Office of the Dean of Students has informed student-athletes that it will conduct its own investigation into allegations of hazing within the swimming & diving team.
“The statement that was issued by Athletics was pertaining to the Swim and Dive Team’s status with the athletic department, and does not reflect the status of the Student Conduct Process,” the letter reads. “The Office of the Dean of Students is committed to conducting a fair, thorough, and impartial investigation into the allegations and has in no way made any determination about whether or not any policy violations have occurred.”
“We hope that you can find some clarity in this message and know that we care for you,” the letter reads, while offering support for members of the team and recognizing that they are going through a difficult time.
Defenders of the program have painted the letter as a rebuke to the athletic department’s statement that reads that: “University administrators determined that hazing had occurred within the program.” A revised version of the statement now says that the swim program’s activities have been suspended following “credible reports of hazing.”
“Based on the information known at this time, Athletics has determined a program suspension is warranted, pending a full investigation by the University,” BC said in its revised statement on Thursday. “Consistent with University policy, the matter will be investigated by the Office of the Dean of Students and adjudicated fairly and impartially through the student conduct process. Once the investigation and adjudication process is complete, Athletics will reassess the status of the teams.”
The letter does, however, differentiate between the student conduct process and the athletic department’s decision to suspend the program.
The university’s hazing policy, which can be seen here, does not list specific university sanctions available; however, Massachusetts law ascribes a fine of up to $3,000 and imprisonment for up to a year for “principal organizers or participants” in acts of hazing.
Allegations & Rumors
A number of rumors about the nature of the hazing allegations have been floating around, and while SwimSwam has been working diligently to confirm and corroborate many of those rumors, we have so far been unable to do so, with the exception of one.
Three individuals close to the team have told SwimSwam that individuals were forced to drink until they vomited, and then wear that vomit tied in a bag around their necks. Those same sources told SwimSwam that not all members of the team participated in the activities.