Details on the hazing allegations that resulted in the indefinite suspension of Boston College’s swim and dive program on Wednesday came to light on Thursday afternoon.
According to a letter from an administrator in the Office of the Dean of Students obtained by The Heights, Boston College’s independent student newspaper, among the accusations are that freshmen swimmers were pressured to binge drink and consume their own vomit during a series of team parties at the beginning of September. The letter matches reports that individuals close to the team have shared with SwimSwam.
The letter outlines five Student Code of Conduct violations that may have occurred, including hazing, alcohol policy, disorderly conduct, community disturbance, and complicity.
“The adjudication process will include an investigation of the reports, followed by a hearing, after which a determination of responsibility will be issued,” the letter said.
BC initially said the men’s and women’s swimming and diving program had been indefinitely suspended after administrators determined that hazing had occurred. But a letter from the Office of the Dean of Students later Wednesday said that in no way had any determination been made yet regarding violations of university policy. On Thursday, BC released a revised statement referring to the hazing as “credible reports.”
“Based on the information known at this time, Athletics has determined a program suspension is warranted, pending a full investigation by the University,” BC’s revised statement said. “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.”
Sources told SwimSwam earlier on Thursday that team members were forced to drink until they vomited, and then wear that vomit tied in a bag around their necks. Those same sources added that not all members of the team participated in the activities.
Hazing is a crime in Massachusetts punishable by a fine of $3,000 and up to a year in jail.
Both the BC men and women’s teams placed 12th out of 12 teams at the 2023 ACC Championships in their first season under former Notre Dame assistant Joe Brinkman. Still, it was a relatively successful season for the Eagles considering they don’t offer swimming scholarships as they broke three school and 15 pool records at their rivalry meet against Boston University in January.
It’s rare for colleges to self-suspend entire programs for hazing, but it has happened before. In 2015, Western Kentucky suspended its men’s and women’s swimming and diving program for five years in the wake of a hazing scandal that resulted in the termination of the coaching staff. Ultimately, the school cut the program.
Brinkman leads a BC coaching staff that includes assistant coach Brian Keane, assistant coach Alexander Santana, and diving coach Jack Lewis. The Eagles were slated to start their season Saturday with a Maroon vs. Gold intrasquad meet before officially beginning the regular ant George Washington on Oct. 7.