Princeton Suspends Men’s Swimming and Diving Team’s Season

Princeton University has announced that they have suspended the season of their men’s swimming & diving team pending a final decision whether to finish off the remainder of their schedule. The suspension comes after the discovery of material that was described in a press release as “vulgar,” “offensive,” “racist,” and “misogynistic” on the university-sponsored team listserv (group email distribution service).

University athletic director Mollie Marcoux Samaan and head coach Rob Orr made the call to suspend the team, according to the press release.

“We make clear to all of our student-athletes that they represent Princeton University at all times, on and off the playing surface and in and out of season, and we expect appropriate, respectful conduct from them at all times,” Samaan said. “The behavior that we have learned about is simply unacceptable. It is antithetical to the values of our athletic program and of the University, and will not be tolerated.”

The suspension is effective immediately.

“In the coming days we will make a determination about the status of the team’s remaining schedule and we also will work collaboratively to determine additional actions aimed at education and positive culture building for the team,” she added.

The press release also underscored Princeton‘s commitment to an inclusive, harassment-free environment.

The Princeton men’s swimming and diving team was the center of a different but similar controversy in April of 2015. A video of a group called Urban Congo, mostly members of the Princeton swimming and diving team, that caused a social media outcry from a portion of the student body calling it insensitive to African culture.

Before the suspension, the team’s remaining meets for the season were a dual versus Navy January 7th, a tri versus Harvard and Yale February 5th, and the Ivy League Championships February 22nd-25th.

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probably nothing worse than anything said by the president elect in the past 6 months.




If they’re lucky, they can prove they’re just direct quotes.




What did he say during the last 6 months that left you and your safe space shook-up?


Happy holidays, OTTALK! 🙂


“I accept your nomination.”


Savage and true


Or years ago and it was on tape!


Another victory for the snowflake generation…smh


It’s sad it’s not the 1900s where racism and misogyny is acceptable. Is that where you came from?


Was misogyny even a word a year ago?


yes lol


I believe it actually dates back to the 1800’s, the first usage of it being the name of an old, old wooden ship used in the Civil War, “The CSS Misogyny.”

northern light



Nope, just from an apparently vanished place and time where people didn’t allow words to hurt them and feelings were just that.

To preface this.. I do not presonally have any inside knowledge about this matter. This is not an opinion about the current Princeton men’s team.

That being said, issues like these, in general, aren’t really a “snowflake” thing. When you’re an athlete and your university provides very clear conduct expectations, you follow them or face the consequences. I feel like what they’ve asked for is a very reasonable expectation. Essentially, all they want is for their athletes to not demean other people, to treat others with respect, and to represent themselves and the university well. People who want those things are not “snowflakes.”

Again, I’m not speaking about Princeton specifically, because I don’t know enough about their current situation.


Incredibly Ivory Tower overreaction but what do you expect from college administrators. Invasion of privacy, free speech, all sorts of issues. Article is clear that it was a restricted user site and not used to cyber bully. Nor is there any behavioral issues noted in actual interaction. And certainly no hazing. So current kids lose five months of swim training and competition for a “private” tradition that did not involve hazing that goes back gosh knows how long.

Meanwhile, Penn State and Baylor football never missed a snap.

Like I said, I wasn’t talking about this particular case. I don’t know enough about the forum this all took place in or what was really said. I think the article also mentioned that they havent decided if they will finish out the season or not. I hope it doesn’t come down to all of them not being able to swim, because I’m sure there are some really good guys there.


No doubt Putin hacked their email and leaked it to help Harvard win the Ivy League


It’s really unfortunate that you’re making light of this.


It’s more unfortunate that you take this so personally


The fact that you don’t is really unfortunate, and shows the kind of mindset that has had our sport in trouble for decades. Sexual assault is a BIG deal at Princeton. Read the report yourself 8% of undergrad women reported being raped. Assuming you’re a swimmer, you’ve also experienced having our sport run down by hearing about the USA swimming sex scandals, the Stanford case, and all the other black eyes on our sport, you should take it more personally too. Why do you think the Lochte incident in Rio got so much negative attention — it wasn’t because of the image our sport has projected.


you are way overreaching


Overreaching? That’s why it’s now one of the lead stories of every major media outlet. You’re right, it’s really just irrelevant, and the public hasn’t learned through USA swimming coaching scandals, Brock Turner, and the rest to associate sexual harassment and assault with swimming culture.


you don’t know any of the facts and yet you tie Princeton’s press release to sexual assault statistics and shout down all who doubt your motives.

What was the most egregious comment made by a Princeton swimmer and when was it originated?

What if no comments this season indicating the present team had changed the culture?

How do you know who made the decision to suspend – are you assuming from a press release or did they directly confide in you?

Has anyone ever filed a complaint against any individual or coach for inappropriate behavior?


Unfortunate how?

Coach Mike 1952

This could be debated for days. What we don;t have are more facts. We do not now exactly how many swimmers / divers were actually involved, do we? What are the facts & circumstances? We still need more details, which may or may not be forthcoming. If it is a small number of racist-minded, vulgar swimmers / divers, they ought to be suspended fr breaking the college rules. The others ought to be able to continue their season.


As an alum I find this heartbreaking. I trust Rob and Mollie will do the right thing.


It was a University-sponsored listserve, not a private one. There’s no invasion of privacy or free speech issues, but there are liability issues for the University above and beyond the very troubling moral and ethical ones. Try putting that stuff on your company’s listserve and see what happens to you.

There is no excusing this behavior at any institution or in our sport, and especially not one that claims as its motto “Princeton in the Nation’s Service.” This was a good call by Coach Orr and the AD.


Dean Vermer we are talking about what kids discuss in private on email.


Read the article and the Princeton press release. Caught red-handed on a University list-serve. That’s why they had no privacy hurdles to jump to obtain the information. Not in private on email.


I’m not sure you understand how listservs work, friend.


I don’t care if it is Hillary’s server. The distribution list was restricted and not intended to harm others. You might want to join the real world.


“not intended to harm others”

You can still charge someone with vehicular manslaughter even if they didn’t intend to harm the person they killed in an accident.


Restricted to Princeton University students and using Princeton University IT. Again, try this in the real world with your job (you obviously are too young to have one) and see how your company reacts when you use your Walmart email address and listserve.


You should have your season suspended. You hurt my feelings.


I love the show ( & the guy) on America’s worst jobs . We should respect all working ppl. & those trying to get jobs .To me this is above race gender class orientation etc . It might be a throwaway line but Im disappointed in you Bigly .


Walmart is one of the largest publicly traded companies in the world. You seem to think there’s something wrong with working there if you take my comment as a negative.


What’s wrong with working at Walmart? Do you take that as a negative?


Using the listserve at all, of any college, typically carries with it a code of conduct and an agreement that the communications therein may be subject to search. You can restrict the distribution list as much as you want, but if you don’t want the IT guy reading it, get your own server.

Orange Tiny Hands

We could put them on the US Presidential staff and just claim it was “locker room talk”.
It would be great.


How come yours is Milo’s?


Swimfan – What did I miss? What did the Penn State players do?


All fair points, and yet there are still going to be instances where words are said either in the heat of the moment or in (assumed) private settings that are made public and regretted. Suspending an entire team for the words (again WORDS, not actions) of a few is utterly ridiculous and would have been inconceivable in previous generations where people were raised to not let the words of strangers have such an effect on them and also were not so prone to public outrage over said words. All hallmarks of the snowflake generation.


These comments were made on a university listserv, which isn’t private. The students should have known that the university could read it and therefore not posted stupid stuff on it.

Tom from Chicago

This is a “snowflake” issue when the whole team is suspended for the action of a few. Additionally, my generation sees the litigation of political correctness as harmful to those actually harmed.


I guess in your mind the president-elect is a “snowflake” then, since he campaigned on banning all Muslims from entering the country. Either that or you think all Muslims are terrorists.


Have you ever been on a team, Tom? Go watch the “again…” scene from Miracle if you don’t value the power of punishment of a team over actions of the individual. Lest we forget that swimming is a TEAM sport. If the TEAM is not meeting expectations of the institution who sponsors the sport, then there are repercussions for the TEAM. I would argue that you are perpetuating the idea of a so called snowflake generation if you punish individuals; that is not teaching any sort of accountability to a group.

Coach of Many

I actually have a friend on the team. I could always tell he was the one snapping towels at other guys in the locker room. But I never wanted to believe it was him. He has let our University down. He always had a racist look in his eye. You could tell just by looking at him that he was racist. What a shame.


“you could tell just by looking at him that he was racist” wow. Thank you for your contribution.


Okay “Coach”

About Hannah Hecht

Hannah Hecht

Hannah Hecht grew up in Kansas and spent most of her childhood trying to convince coaches to let her swim backstroke in freestyle sets. She took her passion to Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa and swam at NAIA Nationals all four years. After graduating in 2015, she moved to …

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