The Brown University men’s swimming & diving team will not compete at the 2018 Men’s Ivy League swimming & diving championship this weekend, a spokesperson for the university has confirmed.
The investigation into hazing allegations against members of the team, which were revealed in early December but reference in occasion in October, includes allegations that new team members “vandalized University property, were instructed to perform a skit and vomited after excessive drinking.” Emergency Medical Services were called for one male member of the team who had drunk too much, according to a member of the women’s team cites by the school’s student newspaper. A former member of the men’s team, who asked to remain anonymous, disputes that, saying that Emergency Medical Services “was not called nor was it needed.” That former swimmer, who is still on campus in graduate school, says that he did not participate in the night’s activities but did stop by toward the end of the night, and says that while one freshman was drunk enough to throw up, that he didn’t observe anybody who was “passed out.” In his words, the party was “remarkably tame,” and that he feels like the reaction, including this suspension, has been overblown. (Read more about the investigation here).
Piling on to the allegations of hazing, a recording of the team revealed that a team captain instructed new team members to deny any hazing allegations, saying that “There’s things that are out there that could be damaging, it’s just about how we spin it right now.”
This is the third team-wide disciplinary incident to crop up within the Ivy League in the past two years. Princeton suspended its entire men’s swimming & diving team for all of last season after offensive content was found in a team listserv. Dartmouth cancelled three meets, the team’s winter training trip and put the women’s swim team on probation over the summer over a “sexualized PowerPoint” that first-year team members were told to create.
The spokesperson for the university tells SwimSwam that they “expect the investigation into hazing allegations and the student conduct review process to reach a conclusion in the coming weeks.” He also said that the school will make public any sanctions imposed on the team at the conclusion of the process.
Last weekend, the Harvard women won their 3rd Ivy League title in 5 seasons. This season’s men’s championship kicks off Wednesday at the Denunzio Pool in Princeton, New Jersey. Harvard are the defending champions of that meet, while Princeton had won the 2 editions prior to their year-long suspension. Brown’s men have never won an Ivy League title, and finished in the bottom 2 of the last 9 Ivy League Championship meets after a 6th-place result (out of then-9 teams) in 2008.
Updated: article was updated on February 21 to add input from a former member of the team who believes that the night’s events were much-less-severe than has been initially reported.