University of Cincinnati head swimming coach Mandy DiSalle-Commons has suspended 7 of the team’s 9 senior athletes from the men’s and women’s swimming & diving teams, according to one of the 7 suspended swimmers. Michael Palleros indicated the suspension “ended the careers” of the 7 swimmers, while a spokesperson for the Cincinnati says that it is “not accurate,” and after publishing would elaborate that decisions on who participates in each meet are “at the discretion of the coaching staff leading into each and every meet, particularly for away competitions.”
One member of the team clarifies that the seniors have been told that their senior day ceremonies against Kentucky have been cancelled (which the school disputes), and that they were then given the option to either “quit the team” or “swim by themselves until the last dual meet” and that they would then be done after that. Palleros says DiSalle-Commons told him the same thing, that swimmers are not allowed to practice with the team, use the varsity weight room, and only have the option to swim at Kentucky, though he says that they will be left on the official roster.
Palleros says that 7 senior swimmers were sent home early from the team’s training trip in Naples, Florida last week after the coaches found them having a dinner to “commemorate the four year grind of being a college swimmer,” a dinner that Palleros says includes ordering “one drink” with their meal.
Palleros said the following 7 athletes were sent home from the trip early and informed that they were suspended, effective immediately, which is backed up by the fact that none of the 7 competed in Cincinnati’s meet against Miami on Saturday – roughly three weeks after they were sent home from the training trip. That meet was a home meet.
- Michael Kaplan
- Tim O’Brien
- Ola Kaminska
- Katie Dunn
- Michael Palleros
- Kendra Bierman
- Stacy Loushin
Palleros says that the seniors did not challenge the suspension immediately, because while they thought it was a fairly minor violation, they understand that they did break the rules.
On the other hand, Palleros also believes that a double standard is applied, and that they are not the first members of the team to be caught drinking or violating other team rules this season, but that “the real mistake they made was not being NCAA qualifiers.” Palleros alleges that several members of the team who are bigger contributors to the scoring have committed far more significant violations of the team’s rules and gone unpunished.
The team’s next meet is a two-day quad against Oakland, Kenyon, and Olivet on Friday, January 16th, and Saturday, January 17th. The team then has meets at Alabama (January 23rd), at Western Kentucky (January 24th), and at home against Kentucky (January 30th) before the American Athletic Conference Championships in February.
Article updated at 2:05 Eastern after Cincinnati elaborated on their view on the lack of a suspension.