Accusations of hazing, sexual harassment and sexual assault are being made against the Western Kentucky University (WKU) swim team, per a report just released by the WKU Herald. Investigations were made when former swim team member Collin Craig filed a formal complaint in January 2015 with the Bowling Green Police Department.
According to the Herald‘s reporting, Title IX investigators Huda Melky and Joshua Hayes discovered that “individual members of the team were pressured to drink underage, subjected to calisthenics – called the “freshman ‘f*ck around’” and endured mental abuse brought around by “taping and replaying embarrassing or compromising activity in order to subject the individual to ridicule.” The investigators also found that alcohol was offered to and accepted by high school recruits.
Additionally, the investigators determined that swim team head coach Bruce Marchionda “knew about the hazing and sexual harassment since spring 2012 based on an email he received from a former swimmer.” Further, Melky and Hayes found that subsequent discipline associated with such behaviors was “often inconsistent” and with convenient timing so as to not impact major competitions or championship meets.
The resulting Title IX investigative report offered up three recommended course of actions for university administrators:
- Individual students accused in the complaint should be referred to the Office of Judicial Affairs for further action
- Athletic Director Todd Stewart should determine the appropriate next steps regarding team leadership
- AD Stewart should consider the involvement of the swim team from an organizational perspective for its future
We will report additional information on this ongoing situation as it becomes available.