Princeton Men’s Swimming Will Resume in 2017-2018 After Suspension

After the entire 2016-2017 Princeton men’s season was suspended in December of 2016, the program will resume activities for the 2017-2018 season, as is indicated by both the announcement of captains and of their incoming freshman recruiting class. There is still no roster posted on the site – which was removed when the program was suspended last year. The school has not responded to a request for comment, but we have confirmed through other sources, that the program will restart in the 2017-2018 season.

Shouldering a significant portion of the burden for the team’s restart in and out of the pool will be 3 newly-elected captains: seniors Zach BuergerDrew Jung, and Ben Schafer.

Buerger is a former first-team All-Ivy League honoree (800 free relay, 2015) who reached the Ivy ‘A’ final in the 100 and 200 fly at both the 2015 and 2016 Ivy League Championships.

“It is a great privilege to be named captain for the coming year along with my teammates Ben and Drew,” Buerger said. “I look forward to leading the team to great successes both in the pool and out. We are determined to put every last effort into our training, while also being outstanding role models in the community. Finally, we look forward to welcoming the incoming class into our great family of PUCSDT, as we set our sights on the 2017-2018 season.”

Jung will serve as the senior leader of the diving corps, where he has competed since his freshman season.

“It is an honor to be working alongside Ben and Zach as we serve our team in the coming year,” Jung said. “I look forward to welcoming a very promising incoming class, and competing alongside a group of friends and teammates who pour their hearts into this sport and into each other. As we keep on building this group into a team that we can continue to be proud of, I am confident in our ability to perform at the highest level this coming season.”

Schafer is a multiple-time first-team All-Ivy League honoree (400/800 free relays, 400 medley relay, 2016), and he earned second-team All-Ivy League honors as the runner-up in the 200 fly at the 2016 Ivy League Championships.

“I am thrilled to have been selected by my peers to help lead the Men’s Swim and Dive team into a new era both in and out of the water,” Schafer said. “The opportunity to be a main contributor in forging a new culture with people I consider my closest friends, is a task that I look forward to taking with both hands. Zach and Drew are both outstanding individuals, and the prospect of competing alongside them has my heart racing for my final swim season at Princeton.”

The team’s season was suspended last year after the revelation of a team listserv that included comments described by the school as “vulgar,” “offensive,” “racist,” and “misogynistic,” including comments directed toward members of the school’s separately-administered women’s team.

The school brought in Certified Professional Behavioral Analyst and Values Analyst Jim Gahen to lead a 3-day program with the team. The school said that “its intention (was) to assist Princeton in rebuilding a strong, positive culture within its program.”

Portions of this article are courtesy of a Princeton Athletics press release.

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Maybe the silver lining to their lost season was the seminar with the Life Coach. They might pick up some things that will help them be successful and happy long after their swimming days are done.

“I look forward to welcoming a very promising incoming class, and competing alongside a group of friends and teammates who pour their hearts into this sport and into each other,” says Drew Jung, one of their captains.

That does sound like what NCAA swimming is all about.


No doubt “Life Coaches” have tremendous value in helping people and groups become more healthy. Most probably the young men took valuable information away from the seminar. Mr Gahen is to be commended for his commitment and professional resume. I still believe Princeton went too far in suspending the season. Vulgar, offensive, racist and misogynistic comments will be expressed, sad to say as it is a part of the human condition. It is good to see that Princeton took a stance. In the future WHEN THIS HAPPENS AGAIN elsewhere, a balanced clear thinking administration will place premium on education and reasonable deterrent punishment. Coach Orr is to be commended for his impeccable leadership and unquestionable integrity.


Does anyone know the details of what was actually said in those emails and did anyone get permanently removed from the team for it?

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of 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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