Eastern Illinois University has suspended its men’s swimming and diving program for the fall semester because of what it’s calling credible reports of hazing within the program.
This is at least the third program to take face major sanctions in the last two weeks over hazing allegations. Boston College suspended its swimming & diving program indefinitely for allegations that, among other things, student-athletes were made to drink their own vomit; while Texas A&M suspended most of its men’s team for the fall semester after a neighbor filmed a hazing ritual that involved taping freshmen together and consuming alcohol, soda, or milk.
While no specific allegations have been released to the public, the school has immediately launched a formal investigation into the hazing led by the Office of the Dean of Students. SwimSwam has been told by multiple sources close to the situation that head coach Jonathan Jordan reported the hazing to the administration.
“The health and wellness of our students is EIU’s topmost priority,” officials said. “For that reason, final decisions on future competition(s) and individual roster eligibility will be determined following the results of the investigation.”
The school also announced that the men’s team would not compete in the fall 2023 semester.
Eastern Illinois is scheduled to kick off its 2023-2024 season on October 6 against Illinois State, which only sponsors a women’s team. Their first scheduled meet against a co-ed program is at the Davenport Invite from October 13-14.
The EIU swimming & diving programs have faced challenges on many fronts in recent years. Jonathan Jordan was hired as the head coach last July, making him the program’s 3rd head coach in 3 years. That position has historically been one of the lowest-paying head coaching positions in Division I swimming & diving.
In 2019, an Eastern Illinois swimmer, Jaylan Butler, was taken to the ground by police at gunpoint while the team bus was at a rest stop returning from the Summit League Championships in a case of mistaken identity. Butler would sue the police department over the incident, and the department eventually settled the suit.
The EIU men and women both finished 7th out of 8 teams at last year’s Summit League Championship. In both cases, the team they beat was Southern Indiana University, which was in its first season of competition.