Eastern Illinois Suspends Men’s Swim Team For Fall 2023 Semester

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.

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2 months ago

I believe this is going to turn into something very very minor in nature. Its actually a joke what is being alleged and a waste of time money and effort not to mention a complete disservice to these kids.

2 months ago

With schools looking for ways to save money on athletics and swimming being a non revenue generating sport, teams can’t afford to tarnish their reputations at all.

2 months ago

Hazing is institutional sadism. It’s not “team-building.” It’s lousy leadership and group bullying. Group-think normalizes hazing. People aren’t getting softer, they’re wising up to bullies.

Last edited 2 months ago by Swimming
2 months ago

Good job, EIU administration. You’ve punished not only the innocent, but the victims as well. Well done.

2 months ago

We need to get to the point where we, as individuals, can stand up for ourselves and simply refuse to participate in something we don’t feel comfortable with. Stand up to someone trying to haze, pressure, coerce, or bully you. Say no, opt out, don’t be ashamed. No one is going to kick you off a team for not doing some stupid party trick. A simple, “nah, I’m not doing that” will suffice. Change starts with each one of us. Be proud of your convictions and stand strong. Never buckle to the whims of others. Standing up for yourself is a much better option then coming in to a program and torpedoing it for everyone because you were afraid to… Read more »

Reply to  Aquadog
2 months ago

I have a real problem with Aquadog’s post. If you are ganged up on by 20 people, you don’t get the chance to say no, and sometimes, the damage is already done in one incident. Odds are, you were/are one of those in that 20.

Reply to  Nonya
2 months ago

Actually, Nonya, you don’t know the first thing about me or what I have been through in my life. You’re making a lot of assumptions right there. I am encouraging people to stand up for themselves.

Reply to  aquadog
2 months ago

What is your solution? Get “ganged up on”, do something dangerous for yourself and others, then report everyone, sue people and get the team shut down for everyone because you didn’t have the will power to stand up for yourself?

Reply to  aquadog
2 months ago

That’s a bit too far in “the victim is responsible too” territory for me, honestly. Yes we should encourage individuals to stand up for themselves, but we should also be holding hazing instigators accountable. It can’t *just* be up to the individual to protect themselves, we’re better than that.

2 months ago

If the “health and well-being“ of the athletes is the first and foremost priority of the university, why would you suspend kids who had nothing to do with this event?

Reply to  KRW
2 months ago

Exactly, A couple rogue underclassmen cost the whole team? Better either clear people’s names publicly or let the innocent ones at least finish the season. That’s the only way to avoid a false light defamation suit.

Reply to  Berlyn
2 months ago

Yes. For the kids totally uninvolved, which I believe to be most of the team, where do they go to get their reputations back?

2 months ago

Kids and administrators are so soft these days. This sounds like a team bonding event.

Fukuoka Gold
2 months ago

“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.”

Looks like his own crime (in the eyes of Illinois cops) was being born black.

Land of the free and home of the brave?

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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