NCAA Division III Ursinus College has cancelled the remainder of its men’s and women’s swimming season after announcing that they had “committed violations of the college’s anti-hazing policy and student code of conduct.”
The school says that the incident involve “alcohol and underage drinking.” The school has also placed the program’s head coach Mark Feinberg on probation.
Local Collegeville police say that they were not notified of any incidents related to the situation.
The school says that the investigation began after one incident that happened on August 31st.
One former member of the team, Stephen Powell, who spoke to the local CBS affiliate, says that he believes the suspension was an ‘overreach.’
“It felt like a lot of pieces that came to conclusions. I feel like it was a power move that we don’t tolerate that thing here and it came down way too hard on kids who genuinely feel didn’t deserve it,” Powell said.
“When it came to the party scene, it was always make sure you’re comfortable and talking to people, make sure you know someone there you’re comfortable being with,” Powell added. “I think there should have been more a trial of their peers.”
Ursinus College, located in the far-northwest reaches of the Philadelphia suburbs, has an enrollment of about 1,500 students.
Through its first 5 dual meets of the season, both the Ursinus men and women had a 3-2 record. For both teams, that included wins over conference opponents McDaniel and Dickinson. The team was scheduled to compete last weekend at the Golden Ram Classic before the ending of the season was announced.
Both teams compete in the Centennial Conference, where the women won the conference title last season and the men placed 4th. That was the women’s 6th-straight conference title. The women went on to finish in 17th place at the NCAA Championship meet
Ursinus’ Full Statement:
While the decision to cancel the season was difficult, the safety and well-being of every student at Ursinus are our greatest priorities. Ursinus College does not tolerate hazing or any action that is antithetical to our values and our mission. To those who may have been personally affected by this event, we understand that this has been a difficult experience for you. We remain dedicated to your well-being, as we are for every student, and thank you for placing your trust in us.
Ursinus works hard to create a student culture and safe living environment that is respectful of every individual, and moving forward we are fully committed to providing meaningful learning experiences for all student-athletes. We will work together to improve our culture and learn from this experience.
Coach Mark Feinberg supports and agrees with this decision and, as coach and mentor, assumes a share of responsibility for the actions of both the men’s and women’s teams. He is now placed on probation and will work on addressing specific action items and strengthening his teams’ culture moving forward.
We are hopeful this experience will lead to a more vigorous dialogue about promoting courage and personal responsibility while cultivating and affirming a stronger community. Faculty, staff and all students must hold ourselves and each other accountable to ensure the safety of every member of the community, and we encourage everyone on campus to report any violations that may endanger individuals across campus.
Ursinus has a proud legacy of success in academics and in athletics. It is our aim to meet—and exceed whenever possible—our high expectations for both. Moving forward, the Ursinus family reaffirms the guiding principles of our community values statement and will continue to find ways to embrace the ideals of inclusivity, excellence, inquiry and ethical decision-making in all we do.