DisSeveral additional details concerning the hazing allegation within the Western Kentucky University (WKU) swimming program have now come to light, as the Bowling Green (KY) Police Department has concluded its investigation.
With search warrant in hand, the BGPD seized several items from the house where the hazing was reported to have occurred. According to the WKU Herald, items seized included two beer kegs, two marijuana grinders, two marijuana pipes, one pill bottle with marijuana stems and five picture boards full of various photographs were among the items seized during the search from the house’s residents. Multiple electronics, including several game consoles, cell phones and flash drives were also seized. (WKU Herald)
BGPD then met with Huda Melky, director and Title IX Coordinator for WKU, to review “picture boards” that were obtained from the aforementioned house, which contained collages of various highly intoxicated students in nude or partially nude sexually charged positions, with at least one having a racial slur written on it. See full descriptions within the WKU Herald article here.
The BGPD considered its investigation closed on February 26th and the Title IX case was finalized on April 6th, with Melky then releasing her findings. As previously reported, the Title IX investigation 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.”
The Title IX report recommended that the involved student-athletes be referred to Office of Judicial Affairs for further action. In the meantime, President Gary Randsdell tells the Herald that he has “serious concerns….We are taking it very seriously and will address it….It’ll take a little time to deal with it, but we’ll deal with it.”